Botswana's economy grew 4.9 percent quarter- on-quarter in the three months to end-December against a revised 3.5 percent contraction in the third quarter of 2015, Statistics Botswana said on Thursday.
On a year-on-year basis, gross domestic product (GDP) shrank 1.9 percent compared to a 3.9 percent contraction in 2014.
The decline on an annual basis was attributed to a fall in mining output, which slipped 30.5 percent in the fourth quarter, according to the statistics agency. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, growth was largely driven by Trade, hotels and restaurants, transport and communications, business service which increased by 6.5, 5.3 and 3.8 percent respectively.
SB highlighted that in Q4 2015 all other industries recorded positive growth with the exception of Mining, Manufacturing and Agriculture which decreased by 30.5, 1.9 and 0.7 percent respectively.
According to the data copper and diamond production decreased by 59.7 and 20.4 percent respectively. The decline has been ascribed to provisional liquidation of Mowana and Thakadu copper mines and the plant shutdown at the BCL copper mine during the months of August, September and October 2015.
SB says, although Electricity continued to record negative value added, it has shown some improvement. In the fourth quarter of 2015 Electricity recorded a negative value added of P95.2 million compared to a negative value added of P103.5 million registered in the fourth quarter of 2014.
“The improvement is attributed to an increase in local electricity production by 40.2 percent and a decrease of 34.2 percent in electricity imports. Imported Electricity is included in intermediate consumption,” SB stated.
Water has shown some improvement in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to the previous quarter; it registered a decline of 1.9 percent compared to a decrease of 4.0 percent in the previous quarter.
In the quarter under review manufacturing sector also recorded a decrease of 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to an increase of 4.6 percent in the same quarter of the previous year.
SB attributed to the decline in the value added of all sub industries in this sector. Meat & meat products, Beverages, Textiles, Tanning and leather products and Other manufacturing decreased by 7.4, 5.9, 0.5, 4.6 and 0.6 percent respectively.
The Statistics agency says estimated GDP at current prices for the fourth quarter of 2015 was P34, 904.1 million compared to a revised level of P37, 326.6 million registered in the third quarter of 2015. The estimated GDP at constant 2006 prices for the fourth quarter of 2015 was P21, 729.8 million compared to P20, 707.3 million registered in the third quarter of 2015.
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.
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.
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.