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Botswana exports on slippery slope

Diamonds, salt, soda ash and textiles exports dropped

Botswana’s total goods exported to the rest of the world in June declined as a result of diamonds leaving the country, Statistics Botswana International Trade Merchandise monthly digest data has shown.

The Statistics agency noted that total exports were valued at P8, 484.9 million, showing a decrease of 3.6 percent (P319.6 million) from the May 2016 revised value of P8, 804.4 million.

“This is attributable to the decrease in exports of Diamonds which recorded a drop of 5.3 percent (P420.3 million) from P7, 950.4 million recorded during May 2016 to P7, 530.1 million during the month under review,” SB stated.

Diamonds are still Botswana’s major exports as 88.7% (P7, 530.1million) was attributed to exports of these stones. These exports consist of diamonds from diamond polishing companies as well as those from the aggregation process.

However,  comparison of June 2016 total exports value to that of June 2015 shows an increase of 14.3 percent (P1, 060.0 million) from P7, 424.9 million recorded during June 2015 to P8, 484.9 million recorded during June 2016.

Salt and soda ash and textiles also contributed to the decrease in exports. Salt and soda ash declined by 40.5% (P21.4million) from P52.8 million to P31.4 million while textiles dropped by 40.3 %(P11.9million) from P29.6 million during May 2016 to P17.6 million during the current period.

About 28.0% or (P2,373.0million) of the exports were destined to Africa with South Africa and Namibia respectively, received 15.7% (P1334.5million) and 11.4% (P966.4million) of total exports during the month under review.

Asia received exports valued at P3, 265.5 million, representing 38.5% of total exports (P8, 484.9 million) during June 2016. India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) received 14, 9 % 9P1.261.7 million) and 11.1 percent (P941.4million) respectively of total exports during the month under review. Israel, Singapore and Hong Kong respectively received 5.4% (P457.6 million), 4.55 (P385.2 million) and 1.3% (P112.7million) of total exports during the same period.

Exports destined to the EU were valued at P2, 159.8 million, representing 25.5 percent of total exports during the period under review. Belgium received most exports destined to EU, having received 19.5 percent (P1, 657.1 million) while the United Kingdom (UK) got 5.4 percent (P460.0 million) of total exports during June 2016.

Statistics Botswana said in June 2016 total imports were valued at P5, 833.5 million, showing an increase of 24.0 percent (P1, 129.0 million) from the revised May 2016 value of P4, 704.6 million. This is attributable mainly to an increase in imports of Diamonds which rose by more than 100 percent (P904.4 million) from P638.4 million during May 2016 to P1, 542.8 million during June 2016.

A comparison of import figures for June 2016 and June 2015 shows a decrease of 23.4 percent (P1, 782.3 million), from P7, 615.8 million recorded during June 2015 to P5, 833.5 million recorded during the reference month.

The statistics agency stated that the decrease in import value was mainly due to the low value of diamond imports for aggregation during the current period, having decreased by 54.6 percent (P1, 856.8 million) from P3, 399.6 million during June 2015 to P1, 542.8 million during June 2016.

The other commodity groups that contributed to the decline in total imports during June 2016 as compared to June 2015 were Machinery and Electrical Equipment which fell by 20.6 percent (P194.6 million) from P945.2 million during June 2015 to P750.6 million in June 2016 and Chemicals and Rubber Products, having decreased by 13.0 percent (P81.6 million) from P632.3 million during June 2015 to P550.4 million during the month under review.

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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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