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Sluggish mining weigh down GDP growth

The poor performance of commodities in the market, especially minerals has seen the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) move up at a snail’s pace during the first quarter of 2017.

According to the latest statistics released by Annah Majelantle, the Statistician General of Statistics Botswana, the decrease in the real mining value added of 28.9 percent was because of the closure of copper/nickel mines during the fourth quarter of 2016.She says in the quarter under review, copper/nickel production was zero due to the provisional liquidation of the BCL mine in October 2016. On the other hand, diamond value added decreased by 2.8 percent during the quarter under review because diamond prices continue to be vulnerable to market tremors hence a reduction in diamond production.


Other commodities have not been doing well either, Soda Ash value added decreased by 41.5 percent because the markets remain restrained due to low demand as some of the industries utilizing the commodity have been affected by the low metal prices.


The statement by Majelantle further reflects that coal prices also remain depressed and stagnated which continues to negatively impact on the commodity export viability. The BCL closure also impacted on the Morupule Colliery Mine production. Other mining value added went down by 22.2 percent mainly due to a decrease in Gold production by 22.5 percent, the statement reads.


The estimated GDP at current prices for the first quarter of 2017 was P43, 647.0 million compared to P43, 657.4 million registered in the fourth quarter of 2016. The estimated GDP at constant 2006 prices for the first quarter of 2017 was P22, 466.4 million compared to P22, 421.6 million registered in the fourth quarter of 2016. According to the statement by Majelantle, the domestic economy increased by 0.8 percent in the first quarter of 2017 compared to an increase of 2.3 percent recorded in the same quarter of 2016.


“The increase was attributed to real value added of Trade, Hotels & Restaurants and Finance & Business Services which increased by 18.7 and 5.4 percent respectively. All other industries recorded positive growths of more than 1.2 percent with the exception of Water & Electricity, Mining and Manufacturing which decreased by 32.2, 28.9 and 0.3 percent respectively.”


Meanwhile Trade, Hotels & Restaurants growth of 18.7 percent was attributed to the increase in real value added of Wholesalers, Vehicle dealers and Hotels & Restaurants by 76.0, 7.2 and 6.3 percent respectively. Wholesaler’s value added increased significantly due to the positive performance realized from downstream diamond industries. The increase of 5.4 percent in the real value added of the Finance and Business Services industry was mainly due to the rise in the value added of Business Services and Real Estate by 8.4 and 6.2 percent respectively.


BCL closure also hit on water and electricity as Majelantle observes that: “Water and Electricity value added at constant 2006 prices for the first quarter of 2017 was P112.1 million compared to P165.5 million registered in the same quarter in 2016, recording a decrease of 32.2 percent. In the first quarter of 2017, Electricity recorded a negative value added of P46.7 million compared to a positive value added of P77.7 million registered in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Electricity value added decreased mainly because of the closure of the BCL mine. Total electricity distribution in kwh went down by 15.1 percent, with distribution to BCL decreasing by 79.1 percent.” In the first quarter of 2017, the real value added of water sector decreased by 7.0 percent compared to an increase of 11.1 percent recorded in the same quarter of the previous year.


“The decrease of 0.3 percent in the real value added of the Manufacturing industry was mainly due to the decrease in the real value added of all sub industries except other manufacturing which increased by 2.5 percent. Non mining GDP increased by 5.6 percent in the first quarter of 2017 compared to 3.7 percent registered in the same quarter of the previous year. The increase was mainly due to Trade, hotels and restaurants particularly the wholesale sub industry,” she notes.


In the first quarter of 2017, Trade, Hotels and Restaurants was the major contributor to GDP by 20.9 percent while Mining contribution stood at 17.6 percent. Trade, Hotels and Restaurants contribution increased because of the wholesaler’s performance which comprises of diamond aggregation processes.

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China’s GDP expands 3% in 2022 despite various pressures

2nd February 2023
China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 3% year-on-year to 121.02 trillion yuan ($17.93 trillion) in 2022 despite being mired in various growth pressures, according to data from the National Bureau Statistics.

The annual growth rate beat a median economist forecast of 2.8% as polled by Reuters. The country’s fourth-quarter GDP growth of 2.9% also surpassed expectations for a 1.8% increase.

In 2022, the Chinese economy encountered more difficulties and challenges than was expected amid a complex domestic and international situation. However, NBS said economic growth stabilized after various measures were taken to shore up growth.

Industrial output rose 3.6% in 2022 over the previous year, while retail sales slightly shrank by 0.2% data show that fixed-asset investment increased 5.1% over 2021, with a 9.1% hike in manufacturing investment but a 10% fall in property investment.

China created 12.06 million new jobs in urban regions throughout the year, surpassing its annual target of 11 million, and officials have stressed the importance of continuing an employment-first policy in 2023.

Meanwhile, China tourism market is a step closer to robust recovery. Tourism operators are in high spirits because the market saw a good chance of a robust recovery during the Spring Festival holiday amid relaxed COVID-19 travel policies.

On January 27, the last day of the seven-day break, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism published an encouraging performance report of the tourism market. It said that domestic destinations and attractions received 308 million visits, up 23.1% year-on-year. The number is roughly 88.6% of that in 2019, they year before the pandemic hit.

According to the report, tourism-related revenue generated during the seven-day period was about 375.8 billion yuan ($55.41 billion), a year-on-year rise of 30%. The revenue was about 73% of that in 2019, the Ministry said.

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Jewellery manufacturing plant to create over 100 jobs

30th January 2023

The state of the art jewellery manufacturing plant that has been set up by international diamond and cutting company, KGK Diamonds Botswana will create over 100 jobs, of which 89 percent will be localized.

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Investors inject capital into Tsodilo Resources Company

25th January 2023

Local diamond and metal exploration company Tsodilo Resources Limited has negotiated a non-brokered private placement of 2,200, 914 units of the company at a price per unit of 0.20 US Dollars, which will provide gross proceeds to the company in the amount of C$440, 188. 20.

According to a statement from the group, proceeds from the private placement will be used for the betterment of the Xaudum iron formation project in Botswana and general corporate purposes.

The statement says every unit of the company will consist of a common share in the capital of the company and one Common Share purchase warrant of the company.

Each warrant will enable a holder to make a single purchase for the period of 24 months at an amount of $0.20. As per regularity requirements, the group indicates that the common shares and warrants will be subject to a four month plus a day hold period from date of closure.

Tsodilo is exempt from the formal valuation and minority shareholder approval requirements. This is for the reason that the fair market value of the private placement, insofar as it involves the director, is not more than 25% of the company’s market capitalization.

Tsodilo Resources Limited is an international diamond and metals exploration company engaged in the search for economic diamond and metal deposits at its Bosoto Limited and Gcwihaba Resources projects in Botswana.  The company has a 100% stake in Bosoto which holds the BK16 kimberlite project in the Orapa Kimberlite Field (OKF) in Botswana.

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