Metal Tiger, the London Stock Exchange AIM listed investor in strategic natural resource opportunities, has announced an additional investment into MOD Resources Limited (ASX: MOD).
The investor provided an update regarding the Company’s Joint Venture (JV) project with partner MOD Resources Limited (ASX: MOD) (MOD) in the Kalahari Copper Belt in Botswana (70 percent MOD Resources 30 percent Metal Tiger) last month. Further to the announcement from March 12, Metal Tiger has taken up its full entitlement under the 16 for 1 rights issue of 7,887,500 shares at a cost of a$ 370,713. This, the company noted, is an additional investment which has increased their shareholding to 138,800,415 shares or 6.0197 percent of MOD Resources Limited’s issued share capital.
For the full year ended 31 December 2017, MOD Resources Limited reported a loss of A$ 3,320,669 and total net assets of A$ 30,653,974. The AIM listed entity has announced that it has an application lodged with the Botswana Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) for an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) for drilling within the circa 697km2 T20 Dome complex. The drilling of the T20 Dome EMP, the company says, will allow for the drilling of new and existing targets identified along a 140 kilometre (km) long strike of the Central Structural Corridor. An additional 939km2 airborne electromagnetic (EM) geophysics survey coverage is planned to commence in mid-2018, to link up the previous three EM trail survey blocks over the centre of the T20 Dome.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Metal Tiger Michael McNeilly said that the submission of the EMP for the T20 Dome will, where awarded, provide access to important strategic ground for the JV and open up an additional 697km2 of under explored and prospective Kalahari copper belt for drilling. He further noted that the Opening the T20 Dome for drilling will allow the possibility of adding to a pipeline of confirmed copper targets whilst moving the T3 Resource through the mine feasibility study process. With the recently awarded T3 Dome EMP, drilling, he revealed, is planned to commence at the T3 Dome in May.
The CEO stated that the T20 Dome EMP has been lodged for permission to test several new and existing targets along the Central Structural Corridor along the northern part of the T20 Dome complex. He further noted that the Approval of the T20 EMP will increase the total area available to drilling to approximately 1,377 km2 which consists of the T3 Dome and T20 Dome.
The JV operating company Tshukudu is said to have accessed Agreements with 28 farms to allow access for the required exploration operations. The planned extension of the airborne EM Geophysics survey coverage will extend geophysics data coverage over the centre of the T20 Dome and will facilitate the generation of new drilling targets which will tie together the three-existing trial EM Survey blocks. The T20 Dome drilling targets to include the T4, where reverse circulation (RC) drill hole MO-A-04R intersected 2 metres at 6 percent Copper (Cu) & 111 grams per tonne (g/t) Silver (Ag) from 101m depth, prior to the discovery of T3 in March 2016. T4 is located approximately 80km SWW of T3. Interpretation for the trial EM data covering this target, together with soil sampling data has identified the possibility of extensions to the known mineralisation.
T23 is a new target located 15km west of T4. Tiger Metals has noted that it has an interpreted rotated structural anomaly within the core of a larger dome structure. The T23 is likely to be the first target to be drilled when the T20 Dome EMP is approved. The approval of the T3 Dome EMP was announced on 3 April 2018, with drilling expected to commence in May.
The T3 Project is located on the Kalahari Copper Belt in northern Botswana and is part of the MOD/MTR joint venture Botswana Copper/Silver Project. T3 is located within the central part of the T3 Dome (approximately 1,000km2), which is the focus of rapidly increasing exploration activity undertaken by the JV. Two significant resources have been discovered to date within the T3 Dome: T1 (Mahumo deposit 100% MOD) and T3 (70% MOD / 30% MTR).
The T3 Deposit was discovered in March 2016 when a reverse circulation (“RC”) drill hole intersected 52m at 2.0 percent Copper (Cu) and 32g/t Silver (Ag) from shallow depth. The maiden T3 JORC (2012) compliant Mineral Resource was announced on 26 September 2016 with the first Resource upgrade announced on 24 August 2017.
The results of a Scoping Study for an open pit mine at T3 with a 2Mtpa processing plant, an indicative mine life of 10 years and an average production rate of 21,800tpa of copper and 665,000oz pa of silver was released on 6 December 2016. Work on a Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) commenced in January 2017 and additional deeper copper mineralisation was discovered below the T3 Resource in February 2017.
The recent study on youth entrepreneurship in Botswana has identified difficult access to funding, land, machinery, lack of entrepreneurial mindset and proper training as serious challenges that continue to hamper youth entrepreneurship development in this country.
The study conducted by Alliance for African Partnership (AAP) in collaboration with University of Botswana has confirmed that despite the government and private sector multi-billion pula entrepreneurship development initiatives, many young people in Botswana continue to fail to grow their businesses into sustainable and successful companies that can help reduce unemployment.
University of Botswana researchers Gaofetege Ganamotse and Rudolph Boy who compiled findings in the 2022 study report for Botswana stated that as part of the study interviews were conducted with successful youth entrepreneurs to understand their critical success factors.
According to the researchers other participants were community leaders, business mentors, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture, financial institutions, higher education institutions, non-governmental institutions, policymakers, private organizations, and support structures such as legal and technical experts and accountants who were interviewed to understand how they facilitate successful youth entrepreneurship.
The researchers said they found that although Botswana government is perceived as the most supportive to businesses when compared to other governments in sub-Saharan Africa, youth entrepreneurs still face challenges when accessing government funding. “Several finance-related challenges were identified by youth entrepreneurs. Some respondents lamented the lack of access to start-up finance, whereas others mentioned lack of access to infrastructure.”
The researchers stated that in Botswana entrepreneurship is not yet perceived as a field or career of choice by many youth “Participants in the study emphasized that the many youth are more of necessity entrepreneurs, seeing business venturing as a “fall back. Other facilitators mentioned that some youth do not display creativity, mind-blowing innovative solutions, and business management skills. Some youth entrepreneurs like to take shortcuts like selling sweets or muffins.”
According to the researchers, some of the youth do not display perseverance when they are faced with adversity in business. “Young people lack of an entrepreneurial mindset is a common challenge among youth in business. Some have a mindset focused on free services, handouts, and rapid gains. They want overnight success. As such, they give up easily when faced with challenges. On the other hand, some participants argue that they may opt for quick wins because they do not have access to any land, machinery, offices, and vehicles.”
The researchers stated that most youth involved in business ventures do not have the necessary training or skills to maintain a business. “Poor financial management has also been cited as one of the challenges for youth entrepreneurs, such as using profit for personal reasons rather than investing in the business. Also some are not being able to separate their livelihood from their businesses.
Lastly, youth entrepreneurs reported a lack of experience as one of the challenges. For example, the experience of running a business with projections, sticking to the projections, having an accounting system, maintaining a clean and clear billing system, and sound administration system.”
According to the researchers, the participants in the study emphasized that there is fragmentation within the entrepreneurial ecosystem, whereby there is replication of business activities without any differentiation. “There is no integration of the ecosystem players. As such, they end up with duplicate programs targeting the same objectives. The financial sector recommended that there is a need for an intermediary body that will bring all the ecosystem actors together and serve as a “one-stop shop” for entrepreneurs and build mentorship programs that accommodate the business lifecycle from inception to growth.”
Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) is said to have recorded an operating surplus of P61 Million, an improvement compared to the previous year. The housing, office and other building needs giant met with stakeholders recently to share how the business has been.
The P61 million is a significant increase against the P6 million operating loss realized in the prior year. Profit before income tax also increased significantly from P2 million in the prior year to P72 million which resulted in an overall increase in surplus after tax from P1 million prior year to P64 million for the year under review.
Chief of Finance Officer, Diratsagae Kgamanyane disclosed; “This growth in surplus was driven mainly by rental revenue that increased by 15% from P209 million to P240 million and reduction in expenditure from P272 million to P214 million on the back of cost containment.” He further stated that sales of high margin investment properties also contributed significantly to the growth in surplus as well as impairment reversals on receivables amounting to P25 million.
It is said that the Corporation recorded a total revenue of P702 million, an 8% decrease when compared to the P760 million recorded in the prior year. “Sales revenue which is one of the major revenue streams returned impressive margins, contributing to the overall growth in the gross margin,” added Kgamanyane.
He further stated professional fees revenue line declined significantly by 64% to P5 million from P14 million in the prior year which attributed to suspension of planned projects by their clients due to Covid-19 pandemic. “Facilities Management revenue decreased by P 24 million from P69 million recorded in prior year to P45 million due to reduction in projects,” Kgamanyane said.
The Corporation’s strength is on its investment properties portfolio that stood at P1.4 billion at the end of the reporting period. “The Corporation continues its strategy to diversify revenue streams despite both facilities management income and professional fees being challenged by the prevailing economic conditions that have seen its major clients curtailing spending,” added the CEO.
On the one hand, the Corporation’s Strategic Performance which intended to build 12 300 houses by 2023 has so far managed to build 4 830 houses under their SHHA funding scheme, 1 240 houses for commercial or external use which includes use by government and 1 970 houses to rent to individuals.
BHC Acting CEO Pascaline Sefawe noted that; BHC’s planned projects are said to include building 336 flat units in Gaborone Block 7 at approximately P224 million, 100 units in Maun at approximately P78 million, 13 units in Phakalane at approximately P26 million, 212 units in Kazungula at approximately P160 million, 96 units at approximately P42 million in Francistown and 84 units at approximately P61 million in Letlhakane. Emphasing; “People tend to accuse us of only building houses in Gaborone, so here we are, including other areas in our planned projects.”
Researchers from some government owned regulatory institutions in the financial sector have projected that the banking sector’s profitability could increase, following Bank of Botswana Monetary Policy Committee recent decision to increase monetary policy rate.
In its bid to manage inflation, Bank of Botswana Monetary Policy Committee last month increased monetary policy rate by 0.50 percent from 1.65 percent to 2.15 percent, a development which resulted with commercial banking sector increasing interest rate in lending to household and companies. As a result of BoB adjustment of Monetary Policy Rate, from 1.65 percent to 2.15 percent commercial banks increased prime lending rate from 5.76 percent to 6.26 percent.
Researchers from Bank of Botswana, the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority, the Financial Intelligence Agency and the Botswana Stock Exchange indicated that due to prospects of high inflation during the second half of 2022, there is a possibility that the Monetary Policy Committee could further increase monetary policy rate in the next meeting in August 25 2022.
Inflation rose from 9.6 percent in April 2022 to 11.9 percent in May 2022, remaining above the Bank of Botswana medium-term objective range of 3 – 6 percent. According to the researchers inflation could increase further and remain high due to factors that include: the potential increase in international commodity prices beyond current forecasts, logistical constraints due to lags in production, the economic and price effects of the ongoing Russia- Ukraine conflict, uncertain COVID-19 profile, domestic risk factors relating to possible regular annual administered price adjustments, short-term unintended consequences of import restrictions resulting with shortages in supplies leading to price increases, as well as second-round effects of the recent increases in administered prices “Furthermore, the likelihood of further increases in domestic fuel prices in response to persistent high international oil prices could add upward pressure to inflation,” said the researchers.
The researchers indicated that Bank of Botswana could be forced to further increase monetary policy rate from the current 2.15 percent if inflation rises persistently. “Should inflation rise persistently this could necessitate an upward adjustment in the policy rate. It is against this background that the interest rate scenario assumes a 1.5 percentage points (moderate scenario) and 2.25 percentage points (severe scenario) upward adjustment in the policy rate,” said the researchers.
The researchers indicated that while any upward adjustment on BoB monetary policy rate and commercial banks prime lending rate result with increase in the cost of borrowing for household and compnies, it increase profitability for the banking sector. “Increases in the policy rate are associated with an overall increase in bank profitability, with resultant increases in the capital adequacy ratio of 0.1 percentage points and 0.2 percentage points for the moderate and severe scenarios, respectively,” said the researchers who added that upward adjustment in monetary policy rate would raise extra capital for the banking sector.
“The increase in profit generally reflects the banking industry’s positive interest rate gap, where interest earning assets exceed interest earning liabilities maturing in the next twelve months. Therefore, an increase of 1.5 percentage points in the policy rate would result in industry gains of P71.7 million (4.1 percent increase), while a 2.25 percentage points increase would lead to a gain of P173.9 million (6.1 percent increase), dominated by large banks,” said the researchers.