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Lucara appoints new mining contractor

Lucara has appointed Moolman Mining Botswana (Pty) Ltd ("Aveng Moolmans") as its new mining contractor at the company's owned Karowe diamond mine in Botswana.


Aveng Moolmans, a company forming part of Aveng Mining has been contracted for a 6 year period to provide the full suite of mining services at the Karowe mine, including all drill, blast, load and haul functions for both ore and waste.  Aveng Moolmans will commence mobilization of equipment to site during January and February 2017 and expects to begin mining activities in early March 2017.


William Lamb, President and Chief Executive Officer commented "We are very pleased to have engaged Aveng Moolmans as our new mining partner at the Karowe mine. Their extensive expertise in working in Botswana and other African countries together with their proven track record and their ability to achieve production volumes over the contract period, makes them a valuable partner as we work to maximize the future value of this incredible resource, at Karowe, for our shareholders and all our stakeholders in Botswana.


"The transition to Aveng Moolmans also provides the Company with increased mining flexibility and capacity to achieve sustainable production and continued strong operating cash flows. "Since December 2016, we have continued to process ore from the south and centre lobe stockpiles and are in line to achieve our production and operating guidance for 2017."


For his part, Stuart White, Operating Group Managing Director, Aveng Mining said "We are grateful for the opportunity of joining the Lucara team at the Karowe mine as its mining department and look forward to adding value to this prestigious diamond mining operation. This long-term project allows us to build on our 15 year presence in Botswana in which we will strive to make a positive contribution to all our stakeholders, including the communities in which we operate.


"Mobilization preparations are underway to ensure a timely start of mining activities, and production to plan." The appointment of a new mining contractor follows Lucara’s decision in December to terminate its contract with Eqstra Botswana which was providing mining related services at its Karowe Mine.

 

At the time Lucara did not give reasons that led to the termination of the contract other than that the performance of Eqstra under the contract remains a subject of discussion between the parties, before adding that an orderly transition to a new mining contractor is underway. The quick appointment of Aveng Moolmans is to prevent any material impact on production especially after Lucara released its operating for 2017.


The Canadian miner forecasts revenue of between $200 to $220 million excluding the sale of the Lesedi La Rona diamond which is expected to go on sale early this year. The Company continues to recover both large and exceptionally high value diamonds from the mine and is now focused on the higher value south lobe.  


“It is difficult to predict incidence of the large high value diamonds and the potential lead time to sell such diamonds at maximum value. The Company therefore considers sales from these diamonds as additional revenue to the baseline $200 to $220 million revenue forecast,” the company said its outlook report for 2017.


The Karowe mine is forecast to process between 2.2 – 2.5 million tonnes of ore, producing between 290,000 and 310,000 carats of diamond. It is expected that the mine will process material largely from the south lobe during 2017. The overall grades of the south lobe are lower than the centre and north lobes resulting in lower diamond production, which is expected. However, the overall diamond quality and value of the south lobe is much higher and has historically resulted in significantly increased revenue and cash flow. The Company plans to issue an updated NI43-101 report following completion of deep drilling work at Karowe.

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Food prices continue to rise, but at a slower rate

28th November 2022

Prices for cereals or staple foods in Botswana and other Southern African countries continue to rise at a slower pace, following trends in the global markets, according to the latest November 2022 Food Price Monitoring and Analysis by Food Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

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Still doing business the old way?

18th November 2022

It’s time to get business done better with MTN Business Botswana’s ICT Solutions.

Running a digital businessMTN Business Solutions Botswana, popularly known as MTN Business is an Internet Service Provider. We are a subsidiary of MTN Group Limited, a multinational telecommunications Group headquartered in South Africa, which operates in 19 markets across Africa and the Middle East.

More and more, clients are looking for ways to keep their staff productive in a dynamically changing business environment. Whether your people are working from home, the office or abroad, there is a growing recognition that digitising your operations can offer unprecedented commercial value in flexibility, productivity and growth. This new, digital reality means that it is more important than ever to stay agile – if there is anything that can slow a business down, it is being burdened by othatld technology.

Having made substantial investments in fibre technology, high-speed terrestrial and undersea networks and new frequency spectrum across the markets wherein it operates, MTN is perfectly positioned to respond to this shift in the market.

A few years ago, MTN also made the decision to build an IP capable radio network for its mobile services, giving its core network the ability to seamlessly integrate with enterprise IP networks. The mobile towers deliver services to enterprise clients absolutely anywhere it has a network, shortening the last mile and removing complexity and cost.

Now there is increasing demand from clients to connect their remote sites in all areas, including rural and semi- rural. MTN has assisted clients with overcoming this connectivity hurdle, enabling their staff to get the job done wherever they are.
MTN’s evolution

For MTN, the focus has shifted from just being a core telecommunications services provider, towards also becoming a technology solutions provider. The service offering now also includes Unified Communications, Data Hosting and Cloud Solutions, Security-As-A-Service and Managed Network Services. The scope has changed to being client and industry specific, so the requirements and service portfolio vary from one client to the next. The expectation is that a company like MTN must respond to these challenges, helping clients to get business done better as they shift from old to new technologies.

As many businesses continue to grapple with a digitally dynamic world, they face new challenges that have to be solved. This environment will benefit those that are more digitally enabled and agile. It is a brave new world that will favour online over on-site, wireless over wired and fluid over formulaic. Businesses will seek out partners and suppliers that are every bit as flexible and forward-looking as they are.
Ultimately, clients need partners like MTN Business that will invest in infrastructure, deliver the services they require, have market credibility, are financially sound and have a long-term commitment to their market presence.

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BIE to vitalize the Dignity of Engineers

9th November 2022

Botswana Institution Of Engineers (BIE), has last week hosted a gala dinner in  which they appreciated engineers who worked tirelessly and with dedication for 10 years from 1983 to steer the BIE to its current status.

The event that was held at the Phakalane Golf Estate had brought together young, experienced and veteran engineers and was held under the theme “Vitalize the dignity and eminence of all professional engineers”.

Explaining the theme, the institution’s treasurer, Thanabalasingam Raveendran said that engineers were looked upon reverentially with respect as the educated but with time it seems to have deteriorated. He indicated that there is a need to change the narrative by all means.

“The BIE exists for the welfare and the betterment of us Botswana engineers, we need to recognize specialised units within our Institution. We Engineers strongly believe in Engineers make it happen” Raveendran said.

He indicated that under the theme they appeal to all engineers to energize, to attain quality of being worthy of honour and respect and to achieve recognized superiority amongst the Society.

Raveendran stated that engineers need to ensure their end product is of good quality satisfying the end users expectations and engineers must be honest in their work.

“Approximately 8000 engineers registered with Engineering Regulatory Board (ERB) are not members of the BIE, engineers need to make every effort to recruit them to BIE” he said.

He alluded that BIE being a society, it currently needs to upgrade itself at par with professional institutions elsewhere like the UK and USA.

He further stated that BIE has to have engineering units of specialised disciplines like Civil/Mechanical/electrical etc

“As President Masisi indicated in his inaugural speech, the young people, who make 60 percent of the population of this country, are the future leaders and therefore investing in them is building the bridge to the future” said Raveendran

Kandima indicated that BIE has a memorandum of Understanding with Engineers Registration Board (ERB), where BIE is a recognised provider of CPD training, mentorship programmes and more importantly IPD undertaking to upgrade the skills and know-how of our engineers.

“For us to achieve our mandate and make worthwhile changes to engineering in Botswana, we have to be totally focused and act with intent” said Kandima.

Furthermore, Stephen Williams, past president of the BIE from 1986-1988 told the engineers that  the BIE provides a fertile environment where they can meet, share ideas and grow professionally.

“The BIE is also a nesting place for graduate engineers to learn from their peers and seniors, it also cater for engineering technicians and technologists and so nobody in the technology field is left out” he said.

He further indicated that Botswana Government provides a conductive environment for growth of engineering professionals.

“It must be stated that the Botswana Government recognises the existence of BIE and it can further be stated that the government enables ERB to carry out its mandate as a regulator of engineering professionals” said Williams

He plead with engineering companies to recognize and support BIE as it is the only source of engineering personnel’s for various Industries .

Furthermore, when giving his farewell speech, Michael Pinard , a past president of the institution  said how they are viewed as engineers by the general public might be due to some lack of appreciation as to exactly what role they play in the development of the country.

“The BIE slogan is aptly coined-Engineers make it happen, in other words, what man dreams engineers create” Said Pinard.

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