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Anglo American profits down by 7 percent

Global Mining Giant Anglo American, a multinational company with significant interest in Botswana‘s most valuable economic resource Diamonds  reported declined  profits for the half year ended June 30 but realised an increase in Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA).

This is according to the company’s half year financial performance report released on Thursday 26th. The Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) listed mining conglomerate underlying EBITDA increased by 11 percent to $4.6 billion (about P47.3 billion) compared to $4.1 billion (about P4.2 billion) registered in the half year ended June 2017.

Anglo reports that this was driven by strong pricing across the Group, particularly in copper and the platinum basket of metals, and continued productivity improvements and cost control across the portfolio, more than offsetting the impact of inflation across the Group and suspension of Minas-Rio operations

The Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mark Cutifani noted that Anglo American has also made good progress against disciplined capital allocation objectives, strengthening the balance sheet with net debt down to $4 billion (about P41 billion), delivering an increase in the dividend commensurate with earnings, and continuing to invest prudently across the business. “This strong financial result derives from our consistent productivity improvements in the underlying operations and a stronger price environment for many of our products,” he said.  

Cutifani further stated that his diversified Mining Group has realised significant productivity improvements delivering a further two percentage point improvement in the first six months of 2018. “A 6% increase in copper equivalent production volume helped deliver $0.4 billion (about P4.1 billion) of cost and volume improvements in the first half, out of the $0.8 billion (about P8.2 billion) targeted for the full year, against a backdrop of rising input cost inflation and the temporary suspension at Minas-Rio,” he said.

According to the CEO, Anglo American forecasts better profitability and continued growth in production going into the last lap of 2018. “We project enhanced returns from our diversified portfolio, with our business model and relentless focus on innovation and business improvement resetting our performance benchmarks,” he said. “As we now move forward to develop the world-class Quellaveco copper project in Peru, in conjunction with our partner Mitsubishi, we are excited about the opportunities we see across the business.”

Further financial figures mirrors that the group Increased volumes across its  portfolio benefited underlying EBITDA by $0.2 billion (about P2 billion), driven by a robust performance at Metallurgical Coal’s longwall operations and higher grades and strong mine and plant performance at Copper, as well as Platinum drawing down refined inventory levels.

Lower export thermal coal production from South Africa partly offset these improvements. The Group’s cost improvements benefited underlying EBITDA by $0.2 billion, with cost reductions outweighing the effects of above-CPI inflationary pressure on the mining industry related to higher diesel and electricity prices.

The positive cost achievement reflected the improved operational performance at Metallurgical Coal’s Moranbah-Grosvenor complex and continued cost-saving initiatives at Platinum and Copper.   However Profit for the financial period under review decreased by 7% to $1.6 billion compared to $1.8 billion in the corresponding period last year  

Cutifani highlighted that his company continued to drive improvement in asset performance through the Operating Model, facilitated by an enhanced focus on the Group’s key assets as a result of work undertaken to upgrade the portfolio. Copper equivalent production increased by 6%, excluding the impact of the stoppage at Minas-Rio, primarily driven by a continued strong performance at Metallurgical Coal, Copper and De Beers, as well as improved production at Platinum, partly offset by geological challenges at Thermal Coal – South Africa.  

Metallurgical coal production increased by 17 percent to 10.8 Mt driven by a sustained strong performance from Moranbah and the full ramp-up of Grosvenor.   Copper production rose by 10 percent to 312,900 tonnes compared to 283,400 tonnes in 2017 half year, driven by productivity improvements at mine and plant and planned higher ore grades at both Los Bronces and Collahuasi. This more than offset the effect of a three-month planned maintenance at Collahuasi that was completed in July 2018.   

De Beers’ rough diamond production increased by 8 percent to 17.5 million carats, in line with the expected continuation of strong demand. This was facilitated by the contribution from the ramp-up of Gahcho Kué in Canada and an incremental increase at Jwaneng, partly offset by the temporary suspension of production at Venetia following a fatality.  

At Platinum, production of platinum increased by 4 percent to 1,233,400 ounces compared to  1,189,100 ounces in the previous period and palladium by 5 percent to 813,200 ounces compared to 774,900 ounces in 2017 half year. This was driven, in particular, by a robust performance at Mogalakwena. Refined metal production decreased by 3 percent for platinum, to 1,075,300 ounces against 1,105,600 ounces in 2017 and by 6 percent for palladium, to 686,500 ounces against 726,500 ounces half year 2017 as planned maintenance constrained processing capacity. 

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The Bulb World starts operations in South Africa

8th April 2021

Homegrown LED light manufacturing company, The Bulb World, has kick started operations in South Africa, setting in motion the company’s ambitious continental expansion plans.

The Bulb World, which was partly funded by Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) at the tune of P4 million, to manufacture LED lighting bulbs for both commercial and residential use in 2017, announced last year that it will enter the South African market in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) of North West province under the auspices of North West Development Corporation (NWDC).

The company has already secured a deal with South Africa authorities which entails production factory shells and tax incentives arrangements.

The company founder and Chief Executive Officer, Ketshephaone Jacob has also previously stated that the company is looking for just under P50 million to finance its expansion strategy and is reaching out to institutional investors such as Botswana Public Officers Pensioners Fund (BPOPF) and government investment arm, Botswana Development Corporation (BDC).

However, Jacob told WeekendPost that instead of sitting and waiting for expansion funding the company has started hitting the ground running.

“We have decided to get in the streets of SA, start selling lights from door to door, ” said Jacob who is in currently in Rusternburg to oversee the introduction of The Bulb World products in the market.

Jacob explained more brand activations will be undertaken in South Africa. “The plan is to do it the whole of North West and Limpopo province, through hawkers, we give the hawkers the lights to sell at a factory price and they put a mark up and make a living,” he said.

The Bulb World operates from Selibe Phikwe, it currently employees 65 young people, 80 % of which are Phikwe youth. The company plans to add 100 jobs this year alone as it forges ahead with its regional and continental expansion plans.

In July this year Bulb World products will hit South African Shelves:  Pick n Pay, Checkers and Africa’s largest retailer Shoprite.

The Bulb World has been registered as a company in South Africa; the company will start producing lights from Mogwasa after striking a special economic zones deal with North West Development Corporation in North West Province South Africa.

“Over the next 10 years we are looking to create over 5,000 jobs in Africa. Through our expansion into all of Africa we will be able to create employment for various individuals in different sectors namely; manufacturing, distribution electronics and retail,” Jacob told this publication earlier this year.

Jacob said if all goes well, the plan is to have taken over Africa or rather penetrated, and have prevalent presence in the African market.

“We are gunning to have at least 30 percent market share by then. According to a 2016 Market Survey, the total valuation of sales for LED Lighting was 57BN, a portion of which we plan to have taken over by then,” he said.

 

While the company has set its eyes on Africa, Jacob said, the company has not fully exploited its local growth, indicating that there could be strategic factories built to supply neighbouring countries of Angola and Zimbabwe.

“There is potential for further local expansion as well to other areas of Botswana if things run smoothly as anticipated. Hopefully in the long-term if our fellow Africans and all these markets receive us well we are planning to build another factory,” he said.

“We are looking to build another factory in the Chobe/Ngamiland Area that will give priority to markets in Zimbabwe and Angola,” he said

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‘Oil exploration will have minimal impact’

30th March 2021
Okavango-River-Basin

The Maun based Okavango Research Institute (ORI) has downplayed the impacts of oil and gas exploration in part of Okavango delta arguing that given the distance proposed the likelihoods of negative impacts drilling these exploration wells on the surface water systems is likely to be negligible.

The Institution released a position paper titled ‘Proposed Petroleum (Oil and Gas) Exploration Operations in the Petroleum Exploration License (PEL) No. 73,’ with findings stating that, in the event of discovery of economically viable hydrocarbon deposits, much more careful consideration of the impacts and economic benefits of development of the resource will be needed.

For example, the fracking process for gas and oil extraction is known to require large volumes of underground water.

It further argues that increased extraction of the underground water is likely to affect the water table level and further affect the overall water availability in the river-basin.

“The effect on water availability and use may become worse if surface water is reticulated or sourced by any means from the Kavango River. Should the exploration and fracking for oil and gas expand to Block 1720, 1721 and 1821, the impact on water availability and quality will be significant, especially if the wastewater is not well managed,” said the paper.

The research unit recommends close communication between the relevant Basin State Ministries (Mineral Resources, Environment) and the Permanent Commission on the Okavango River Basin, OKACOM, and other stakeholders must be facilitated.

This will facilitate sharing of the correct information on the desired intentions of the basin states and compromises sought for the sustainability of the ecosystems in the downstream of the Cubango-Okavango river Basin, states the position paper.

ORI as a key stakeholder with scientific information says it is positioned to provide scientific advice and guidance to decision-makers on the potential impacts of both exploration and development and operation activities.

It also recommends that while the impacts might be minimal at the exploration stage, environmental impacts during the development and extraction process are significant.

Findings also state that the SADC Protocol places a mandatory duty to make a notification of planned measures undertaken in any riparian state in cases where such measures hold the potential to cause ‘significant adverse effects.’

It further states that where the planned development is trivial and not expected to cause any significant harm, the development state is not under duty to notify other riparian states.

Given that the drilling in the Kavango Region in Nambia is merely for exploratory purpose and the possibility of harm is minor, it is therefore not surprising that the Namibian government did not inform Botswana.

However, should it be found that the oil can be profitably or economically exploited, the Namibian government would be under a duty to notify both Angola and Botswana.

The institution further states that to ensure sustainable development in the Okavango Delta the following in the context of exploration for and potential development of hydrocarbon deposits within the Cubango-Okavango River Basin, it must be considered that the Okavango Delta is a World Heritage Site listed in 2014 by UNESCO and one of the binding requirements of the listing is the non-permissible commercial mining of any mineral, gas or oil within the World Heritage Site.

It states that the Okavango Delta is also a RAMSAR site in which mining is not allowed.

Should the exploration for minerals, oil and gas be allowed, there is a high chance that a mineral, oil or gas may be found given that the Delta is sitting on karoo sediments and shale rocks which in other parts of the world have been found to be sources of oil and gas deposits. Should oil or gas be discovered, there will be a strong socio-economic pressure to mine oil or gas and create jobs for the masses.

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Pakmaya yeast penetrates local market

30th March 2021
Pakmaya Africa Sales Manager: Cem Perdar

Manufactured in Turkey, Pakmaya Instant Dry Yeast can be used in the production of various fermented products, as it is suited for both traditional and industrial baking processes. All kinds of breads, buns and fermented pastry products are typical examples of applications.

Pakmaya Africa Sales Manager Cem Perdar says Pakmaya has 4 plants in across the world, further indicating that all of the plants have the highest standards of quality certificates and approvals. Regarding raw material, molasses is the main ingredient for yeast. Concerning production activities, yeast manufacturing requires high know-how and capability. Pakmaya has all those capabilities and aspects more than 45 years.

According to Perdar, Pakmaya has been existent in African markets since 30 years. From South to North, Central to East and West, a consumer can find Pakmaya in nearly every part of Africa continent.

“With its high quality, rich product selection and good service, our brand has become the favorite yeast of many Africans. On the other hand, our distributors in African countries are working very hardly and loyally in order to promote our products in their markets. After some time, we are becoming like families with our exclusive distributors in Africa and this enables both parts to work harder and keeps our product sustainable in market,” he said in an interview this week.

The yeast manufacturing giant made its way to Botswana market. The company has been smoothly working with Kamoso Distribution, a local distribution company. Perdar told BusinessPost that two entities have been working hard to earn is market locally.

“At the moment we have a good market share with them in Botswana market. I’m sure during 2021 long, we will be increasing our sales and market position. Soon we are going to start a marketing campaign in Botswana, so that means Batswana will see and recognize Pakmaya more and more. Pakmaya wants to be the best friend of bakers in bakeries and ladies at homes in Botswana.”

As per global COVID-19 regulations to curb the spread of the COVID-19, Botswana just like other country closed borders. Providentially, the restrictions did not affect the company destructively.

Perdar says “Kamoso Africa is a very important and strong partner in Botswana territory. With Kamoso’s hard work and strict measurements, we have done a very good job. So as Pakmaya, we have not suffered any distribution problem. Our partner is doing the needful at the reaching our products to end users.”

He further said “We are doing well in Botswana market and hoping to make much more. Our aim is to enter every single corner in Botswana territory. With our new marketing campaigns, we are planning to be the most preferred yeast in Botswana market.”

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