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Improved demand pushed diamond production

Diamond production recorded an increase of 32.9 percent during the third quarter of 2017 as compared to the third quarter of 2016. This increase was largely due to the improved trading environment and international demand for diamonds, as well as the resumption of the plant which was previously under partial care and maintenance.

According to a Statistics Botswana 2017 Q3 report on Indices of Mining Production, the quarter-on-quarter analysis shows that diamond production during the third quarter of 2017 increased by 2.4 percent as compared to the second quarter of 2017. On the other hand gold production recorded the highest increase since the second quarter of 2016, increasing 53.1 percent in the third quarter of 2017 as compared to the corresponding quarter in 2016.

The Statistics Botswana report notes that the increase was as a result of higher than expected recoveries from the ore despite the declining lifespan of the mine. The quarter-on-quarter analysis shows an increase of 42.3 percent, when comparing production during the third quarter of 2017 to the preceding quarter.

Meanwhile soda Ash production registered a decrease of 9.5 percent during the third quarter of 2017 when compared to the same quarter of 2016. The decrease was attributable to the aftermath of the plant refurbishment which took place in the second quarter of 2017. The quarter-on-quarter comparisons, however, reflects an increase of 100.9 percent during the period under review as compared to the preceding quarter.

However, salt production recorded an increase of 35.3 percent in the third quarter of 2017 when compared to the same quarter of 2016. The quarter-on-quarter comparison shows an increase of close to two fold in the third quarter of 2017 as compared to the second quarter of 2017.

Coal production decelerated, increasing 6.3 in the third quarter of 2017 after increasing 63.9 in the second quarter of 2017 when compared to the same quarter of the previous year. “Although production decelerated, it is important to note that there was no shortfall in supply of coal due to stockpiling. The quarter-on-quarter production increased by 1.5 percent, when compared to the preceding quarter,” reads the Statistics Botswana report.

According to the Indices of Mining report, Copper-Nickel-Cobalt Matte, Silver and Copper in Concentrates recorded zero production during the period under review. The instability and uncertainty of commodity prices had negatively affected the mines, thus leading to the provisional liquidation of the concerned companies.

The Index of Mining Production stood at 90.7 in the third quarter of 2017 showing a year-on-year increase of 23.0 percent from 73.7 during the third quarter of 2016. The increase in IMP was primarily influenced by positive contributions from Diamond and Gold. The quarter-on-quarter analysis reflects an increase of 3.9 percent from 87.3 during the second quarter of 2017.

Diamonds recorded 32.9 percent year-on-year percentage change, resulting in 29.3 percentage points’ contribution to the percentage change in total mining production. Gold on the other hand recorded 53.1 percent year-on-year percentage change which translated to 0.6 of a percentage point contribution to the overall percentage change in mining production during the third quarter of 2017.

The Index of Mining Production, Year-on-Year percentage change and contribution to the percentage change in the total mining production by mineral, during the third quarter of 2017.

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Matsheka seeks raise bond program ceiling to P30 billion

14th September 2020
Dr Matsheka

This week Minister of Finance & Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matsheka approached parliament seeking lawmakers approval of Government’s intention to increase bond program ceiling from the current P15 Billion to P30 billion.

“I stand to request this honorable house to authorize increase in bond issuance program from the current P15 billion to P30 billion,” Dr Matsheka said. He explained that due to the halt in economic growth occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic government had to revisit options for funding the national budget, particularly for the second half of the National Development Plan (NDP) 11.

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Lucara sits clutching onto its gigantic stones with bear claws in a dark pit

14th September 2020
Lesedi La Rona

Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) has this week revealed a gloomy picture of diamond mining newcomer, Lucara, with its stock devaluated and its entire business affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A BSE survey for a period between 1st January to 31st August 2020 — recording the second half of the year, the third quarter of the year and five months of coronavirus in Botswana — shows that the Domestic Company Index (DCI) depreciated by 5.9 percent.

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Botswana Diamonds issues 50 000 000 shares to raise capital

14th September 2020

Botswana Diamond PLC, a diamond exploration company trading on both London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) on Monday unlocked value from its shares to raise capital for its ongoing exploration works in Botswana and South Africa.

A statement from the company this week reveals that the placing was with existing and new investors to raise £300,000 via the issue of 50,000,000 new ordinary shares at a placing price of 0.6p per Placing Share.

Each Placing Share, according to Botswana Diamond Executives has one warrant attached with the right to subscribe for one new ordinary share at 0.6p per new ordinary share for a period of two years from, 7th September 2020, being the date of the Placing Warrants issue.

In a statement Chairman of Botswana Diamonds, John Teeling explained that the funds raised will be used to fund ongoing exploration activities during the current year in Botswana and South Africa, and to provide additional working capital for the Company.

The company is currently drilling kimberlite M8 on the Marsfontein licence in South Africa and has generated further kimberlite targets which will be drilled on the adjacent Thorny River concession.

In Botswana, the funds will be focused on commercializing the KX36 project following the recent acquisition of Sekaka Diamonds from Petra Diamonds. This will include finalizing a work programme to upgrade the grades and diamond value of the kimberlite pipe as well as investigating innovative mining options.

Drilling is planned for the adjacent Sunland Minerals property and following further assessment of the comprehensive Sekaka database more drilling targets are likely. “This is a very active and exciting time for Botswana Diamonds. We are drilling the very promising M8 kimberlite at Marsfontein and further drilling is likely on targets identified on the adjacent Thorny River ground,” he said.

The company Board Chair further noted, “We have a number of active projects. The recently acquired KX36 diamond resource in the Kalahari offers great potential. While awaiting final approvals from the Botswana authorities some of the funds raised will be used to detail the works we will do to refine grade, size distribution and value per carat.”

In addition BOD said the Placing Shares will rank pari passu with the Company’s existing ordinary shares. Application will be made for the Placing Shares to be admitted to trading on AIM and it is expected that such admission will become effective on or around 23 September 2020.

Last month Botswana Diamond announced that it has entered into agreement with global miner Petra Diamonds to acquire the latter’s exploration assets in Botswana. Key to these assets, housed under Sekaka Diamonds, 100 % subsidiary of Petra is the KX36 Diamond discovery, a high grade ore Kimberlite pipe located in the CKGR, considered Botswana’s next diamond glory after the magnificent Orapa and prolific Jwaneng Mines.

The acquisition entailed two adjacent Prospecting Licences and a diamond processing plant. Sekaka has been Petra’s exploration vehicle in Botswana for year and holds three Prospecting Licenses in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (Kalahari) PL169/2019, PL058/2007 and PL224/2007, which includes the high grade KX36 kimberlite pipe.

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