Minergy Limited on Thursday became the first mining company to list on the main board of the Botswana Stock Exchange. The Australian company with interests in coal mining and energy listed on the BSE following a successful private placement.
Minergy received 408 applications for 1,858,200 out of the 50 million ordinary shares of P1 each on offer from invited investors. Minergy managed to raise P72 million through private placement. With total issued capital of 376, 024, 867, Minergy says it decided to list all the issued shares on the main board of BSE in order to raise further development funding for pre-development work and the development of Masama Mine. In addition, the company said the listing will establish a platform for the future raising of development capital to realise the company’s growth plans as well as enhancing the regional profile of Minergy and to make the company a more attractive investment opportunity for market participants and investors.
After the private placement, the share structure of Minergy is made up of Minergy Mineral Resources with a 60.51 percent stake, African Alliance with 19.95 percent and Kgori Capital (previously Afena Capital) with 11.08 percent. Minergy Limited is the holding company of the Minergy Group which pursues mineral exploration, and is currently working towards the development of its Masama Mine on the southern edge of the Mmamabula Coalfield in Botswana.
The company says Masama Coal Resource is a unique coal asset that represents a low cost mine development opportunity, and the development of the Masama Mine represents the first step in the company’s strategy of becoming a mid-tier Southern African coal mining and energy company.
Minergy has revealed that assessments of the Masama Mine completed to date indicate that it will be capable of generating commercially attractive returns which would enable the company to pay attractive dividends. Furthermore, the company has said that the current management has significant mine development and operational experience and a wide range of expertise underpinned by strategic and practical knowledge of coal and energy markets in the region and internationally. Minergy plans to build an opencast coal mine with the potential to produce 2.4 Mtpa within 16 -18 months of the BSE listing. The company will focus on delivering high quality coal to the regional market, including Botswana and South Africa, and possibly the export market.
Minergy CEO, Andre Boje, accompanied by Minergy chairman Mokwena Morulane, CFO Morné du Plessis and members of the Board of Directors and Executive Management to the listing function, marked the occasion as “a great day for Minergy which marks the beginnings of a resurgence in the Botswana coal industry and Minergy will be the second producer in the country.” Furthermore, Boje says that “together with government and other industry players, Minergy will look to address the logistical challenges facing the coal industry in Botswana.”
“We are pleased to be listing on the Botswana Stock Exchange, we are in good company and as a responsible corporate citizen, we are committed to skills development and training and giving back to the communities in which we operate.” The company has further plans to list on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in the latter half of 2017 or early 2018. The second listing will be done to fund capital requirements that exceed the funds raised during placements. Minergy has projected a total of P186.6 million for the proposed work capital expenditure for the development of the Masama Mine
Boje says coal will continue to play a major role in delivering energy access and security for a long time to come. “The International Energy Agency forecasts that coal will remain the largest single source of electricity generation until 2040. Coal still makes up 41% of global electricity generation and 29% of primary energy demand,” he says. It was also announced that since Masama coal reserve can be mined at low cost and low risk, it offers investors the potential of attractive returns and future expansion opportunities in foreign based earnings.
“Minergy's low cost competitive advantage lies in its shallow coal seams which allow extraction through opencast method at low strip ratios which will more than make up for any potential logistics disadvantages,” the company said in pre-listing statement before adding that the Masama Coal Mine is expected to generate significant free cash flow. Moreover, the company says this should present an opportunity to pay attractive dividends once the company is profitable and generates the required free cash flow. It will also enable the company to consider various opportunities for growth in the future.
“We expect that all Environmental Impact Assessments, feasibility studies and the approval of our mining license will be in place by the second quarter of 2018, with production commencing in 2018,” Boje says. The listing of Minergy and the development of the Masama Coal Project hold significant benefits for Botswana. “Management has appointed local managers and board members and job creation in Botswana will be significant. In addition, the listing on the Botswana Stock Exchange means that the people of Botswana will have another option into which to invest directly,” Boje said.
Thapelo Moribame, BSE’s Market Development Manager, said as part of the BSE Strategy for their five year plan (2017 – 2021), they intend to increase the number of listed companies both on the BSE, adding that they are happy to have Minergy Limited list on the stock Exchange after a fruitful journey to have the company list.
“As at yesterday, there were eight mining companies listed on the bourse. These had a market capitalization of P355.6 Billion out of the total market cap of P420.4 Billion. Minergy’s listing today increases our total equity listings to thirty-four and increases the total number of mining companies listed on the BSE to nine,” she said. Ms. Moribame added that the listing will add an extra P376 Million to the BSE’s market capitalization. She concluded by saying the listing of Minergy on the BSE is testament that the BSE is a viable platform for businesses to raise capital.
Botswana has recorded its first trade surplus for 2021 since the only one for the year in January.
The country’s exports for the month of July surpassed the value of imports, Statistics Botswana’s July International Merchandise Trade data reveals.
Released last Friday, the monthly trade digest reports a positive jump in the trade balance graph against the backdrop of a series of trade deficits in the preceding months since January this year.
According to the country’s significant data body, imports for the month were valued at P7.232 billion, reflecting a decline of 6.6 percent from the revised June 2021 value of P7.739 billion.
Total exports during the same month amounted to P7.605 billion, showing an increase of 6.1 percent over the revised June 2021 value of P7.170 billion.
A trade surplus of P373.2 million was recorded in July 2021. This follows a revised trade deficit of P568.7 million for June 2021.
For the total exports value of P7.605 billion, the Diamonds group accounted for 91.2 percent (P6.936 billion), followed by Machinery & Electrical Equipment and Salt & Soda Ash with 2.2 percent (P169.7 million) and 1.3 percent (P100.9 million) respectively.
Asia was the leading destination for Botswana exports, receiving 65.2 percent (P4.96 billion) of total exports during July 2021.
These exports mostly went to the UAE and India, having received 26.3 percent (P1. 99 billion) and 18.7 percent (P1.422 billion) of total exports, respectively. The top most exported commodity to the regional block was Diamonds.
Exports destined to the European Union amounted to P1.64 billion, accounting for 21.6 percent of total exports.
Belgium received almost all exports destined to the regional union, acquiring 21.5 percent (P1.6337 billion) of total exports during the reporting period.
The Diamonds group was the leading commodity group exported to the EU. The SACU region received exports valued at P790.7 million, representing 10.4 percent of total exports.
Diamonds and Salt & Soda Ash commodity groups accounted for 37.8 percent (P298.6 million) and 6.2 percent (P48.7 million) of total exports to the customs union.
South Africa received 9.8 percent (P745.0 million) of total exports during the month under review. The Diamonds group contributed 39.9 percent (P297.4 million) to all goods destined for the country.
In terms of imports, the SACU region contributed 62.7 percent (P4.534 billion) to total imports during July.
The topmost imported commodity groups from the SACU region were Fuel; Food, Beverages & Tobacco, and Machinery & Electrical Equipment with contributions of 33.3 percent (P1.510 billion), 17.4 percent (P789.4 million) and 12.7 percent (P576.7 million) to total imports from the region, respectively.
South Africa contributed 60.1 percent (P4.3497 billion) to total imports during July 2021.
Fuel accounted for 32.1 percent (P1.394 billion) of imports from that country. Food, Beverages & Tobacco contributed 17.7 percent (P772.0 million) to imports from South Africa.
Namibia contributed 2.0 percent (P141.1 million) to the overall imports during the period under review. Fuel was the main commodity imported from that country at 82.1 percent (P115.8 million).
During the months, imports representing 63.5 percent (P4.5904 billion) were transported into the country by Road.
Transportation of imports by Rail and Air accounted for 22.7 percent (P1.645 billion) and 13.8 percent (P996.2 million), respectively.
During the month, goods exported by Air amounted to P6, 999.2 million, accounting for 92.0 percent of total exports, while those leaving the country by Road were valued at P594.2 million (7.8 percent).
Founders from twenty companies have been accepted into the program from Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa
The 4th Cohort of the Stanford Seed Transformation Program – Southern Africa (STP), a collaboration between Stanford Graduate School of Business and De Beers Group commenced classes on 20 September 2021. According to Otsile Mabeo, Vice President Corporate Affairs, De Beers Global Sightholder Sales: “We are excited to confirm that 20 companies have been accepted into the 4th Seed Transformation Programme from Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. The STP is an important part of the De Beers Group Building Forever sustainability strategy and demonstrates our commitment to the ‘Partnering for Thriving Communities’ pillar that aims at enhancing enterprise development in countries where we operate in the Southern African region”. Jeffrey Prickett, Global Director of Stanford Seed: “Business owners and their key management team members undertake a 12-month intensive leadership program that includes sessions on strategy and finance, business ethics, and design thinking, all taught by world-renowned Stanford faculty and local business practitioners. The program is exclusively for business owners and teams of for-profit companies or for-profit social enterprises with annual company revenues of US$300,000 – US$15million.” The programme will be delivered fully virtually to comply with COVID 19 protocols. Out of the 20 companies, 6 are from Botswana, 1 Namibia, and 13 South Africa. Since the partnership’s inception, De Beers Group and Stanford Seed have supported 74 companies, 89 founders/CEOs, and approximately 750 senior-level managers to undertake the program in Southern Africa.
Minergy, the coal mining and trading company with the Masama coal mine, this week released results for the year ended 30 June 2021. The company achieved revenue of P193 million (2020: P81 million) with significant improvement in sales volumes surpassing 415 000 tonnes sold for the year.
The performance was divided into two distinct periods with very different operating environments. The first eight-month period (July 2020 – February 2021), was negatively impacted by delayed funding, COVID-19 impacts and excessive rain; and the last four-month period (March – June 2021), was a more stable production environment moving toward nameplate capacity.
According to Minergy CEO, Morné du Plessis, production and sales initially recovered in July and August 2020 with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and recoveries were further bolstered by the successful launch of the rail siding. Delays experienced in concluding the funding contributed to contractors limiting operations to manage arrears.
“However, the heavy rains we experienced from December 2020 through February 2021 flooded the mine pit making access difficult and impacting both production and sales. Fortunately, the rain subsided in March 2021, and we entered a more stable environment, with a positive impact on operations. Good recoveries in production and sales were experienced during the last four-month period of the year, with the mine moving closer toward a breakeven position.”
“Despite these operational constraints, including the effects of COVID-19 on logistics and manning of shifts, we expect to reach consistent nameplate capacity in the 2022 financial year,” du Plessis added.
In addition to the revenue reported above, the company incurred costs of sales of P256 million (2020: P150 million) with operating costs of P23 million (2020: P31 million). This effectively resulted in an operating loss of P86 million (2020: P100 million). Finance costs of P51 million (2020: P17 million) were incurred, bringing the net loss before taxation to P136 million (2020: P117 million).
Du Plessis explains that the adverse conditions in the first eight-month period contributed to 86% of the gross loss, while the more stable four-month period alone contributed to 50% of total sales value, helping to decrease monthly gross losses, albeit below breakeven levels.
The company benefited from a strengthening in the South African Rand (“ZAR”) supporting higher back-on- mine sales prices.
“As announced, we’re pleased to have secured P125 million of additional convertible debt funding through the Minerals Development Company Botswana (Proprietary) Limited (“MDCB”). Minergy remains grateful for this support.”
He added that the first tranche of additional funding provided by the MDCB had been received in December 2020, which allowed Minergy to settle the majority of the contractor’s arrears and allowed their teams to be remobilised. The second and final tranche was paid post the financial year-end and will allow the business to reach nameplate capacity in the new financial year.”
COAL SALES AND MINE PERFORMANCE
Sales volumes increased by 110%, supported by increased sales in Botswana and internationally in South Africa and Namibia. Sales for June 2021 exceeded 56 000 tonnes, a record since the inception of the mine, with pricing increasing late in the financial year on the back of buoyant international prices and a strengthening ZAR.
Minergy also concluded a further 12-month off-take agreement to the existing off-take agreement, with a further agreement finalised post year end.
Overburden moved during the reporting period increased by 86% and extracted coal by 50%. Coal mined in June 2021 alone exceeded 100 000 tonnes. “This is a good performance considering the challenges faced such as sacrificing pre-stripping activities for a period to manage arrears, excessive rain and COVID-19,” du Plessis indicated.
“The wash plant was initially starved of coal due to the factors noted already. Despite this, overall plant throughput performance was 37% higher than 2020. Consistent output was supported by the completion of the Stage 2 rigid crushing section as well as the water saving dewatering screen with filter press contributing to a reduction in water usage of 60% per tonne of coal. A record throughput of more than 84 000 tonnes was achieved in March 2021 and this consistency has been maintained.”
According to du Plessis, the completion of Stage 4 of the Processing Plant, the rigid screening and stock handling section, remains a key optimisation step, which has associated benefits. “The completion was unfortunately delayed by a southern African wide shortage of structural steel but was commissioned post year-end.”
Minergy expects the positive momentum in international coal pricing for southern African coal to remain in place. Higher coal prices have resulted in coal being withdrawn from the inland market in favour of lucrative international markets. Du Plessis added that the regional market is currently under- supplied with sized coal, which supports higher pricing and new customer opportunities for Minergy.
“Our objective for the 2022 financial year is to achieve nameplate capacity by completing final ramp-up of operations. This will enable the company to generate sufficient cash flow to stabilise the business at breakeven or better. The bullish coal market is also providing support. COVID-19 will still be closely managed, and we look forward to the lifting of the State of Emergency, as announced, and trust that vaccination programmes will achieve herd immunity in Botswana during the next 12 months.”
Du Plessis expressed his excitement on prospects stating that, “The Eskom due diligence process is continuing, and we are hopeful of receiving feedback during the current financial year. In addition to this opportunity, Minergy is also investigating participation in the request by the Government of Botswana to provide a 300MW power station for which the company has been shortlisted.”
The approved process to issue shares for cash is showing positive leads and he concluded by saying that a listing in London is still being investigated.