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Mining production up 1.5%

The Index of Mining Production stood at 87.3 percent in the second quarter of 2017 showing a year-on-year increase of 1.5 percent from 86.0 during the second quarter of 2016.

The increase in diamond production influenced the overall index to a positive growth. Although the IMP increased, it is notable that production of other minerals such as salt, soda ash, and gold decreased, marginally off-setting the growth in the overall index. The quarter-on-quarter analysis reflects an increase of 13.2 percent from 77.1 during the first quarter of 2017. The leading contributor to the increase in mining production was diamonds contributing 11.1 percentage points to the overall increase.

Diamond production recorded an increase of 12.6 percent during the second quarter of 2017 as compared to the second 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. The quarter-on-quarter analysis shows that diamond production increased by 13.2 percent as compared to the previous quarter.

Gold production declined by 14.5 percent in the second quarter of 2017 as compared to production during the same quarter of 2016. Production decreased despite the slight improvement in gold prices. The quarter-on-quarter production however, shows an increase of 48.1 percent, when compared to the preceding quarter.

Soda Ash production registered a decrease of 25.2 percent during the second quarter of 2017 when compared to the same quarter of 2016. The quarter-on-quarter comparisons reflects a decrease of 12.7 percent during the period under review as compared to the preceding quarter. Salt production recorded a decrease of 28.3 percent in the second quarter of 2017 when compared to the second quarter of 2016. The quarter-on-quarter comparison shows a decrease of 11.8 percent in the second quarter of 2017 as compared to the first quarter of 2017. The decline for both soda ash and salt was mainly due to the plant refurbishment which resulted in low production during the month of May.

Coal production recorded the highest increase since the third quarter of 2014, increasing by 63.9 percent in the second quarter of 2017 as compared to the corresponding quarter of 2016. The increase was as a result of Botswana Power Corporation uptake as Morupule B Power has improved operational efficiency. The quarter-on-quarter production increased by 17.2 percent, when compared to the preceding quarter. 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.

(Statistics Botswana)

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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
Diamonds

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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