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Inflation further eases in September

The drop in retail pump prices has seen the annual inflation rate in September 2015 ease down to 2.9 percent, a decrease of 0.1 of a percentage point on the August 2015 rate of 3.0 percent.

The latest inflation figures falls beyond the 3-6 percent target range set by the Bank of Botswana, bolstering prospects of an interest rate cut by the central bank.

Inflation which the Bank of Botswana tracks was lower than the 4.5 percent recorded during the same month in 2014.

Statistics Botswana has attributed the fall to the Transport group index which registered a drop of 1.1 percent, from 164.6 in August to 162.8 in September. This was mainly attributed to a decrease in the constituent section index of Operation of Personal Transport, which went down by 1.8 percent.

“The decline in Operation of Personal Transport section index was due to the drop in retail pump prices for petrol and diesel by P0.15 and P0.40 per litre respectively, which effected on the 4th September 2015,” SB stated.

Statistics Botswana data indicate that the September national Consumer Price Index registered an increase of 0.1 percent, moving from 182.8 in August 2015 to 183.1 in September 2015. The Rural Villages’ index realized an increase of 0.3 percent, moving from 188.9 to 189.5. The Cities & Towns’ index went up by 0.1 percent, from 181.3 to 181.5, while Urban Villages’ index remained unchanged at 181.6 between the two months.

The data shows that the inflation rates for regions between August 2015 and September 2015 that Urban Villages’ went down to 2.8 percent from 3.0 percent, Cities & Towns went up to 2.9 percent from 2.8 percent and Rural Villages’ dropped to 3.3 percent from 3.4 percent.

The red flag is on the Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and other Fuels group which recorded an increase. This was largely attributed to a rise in the constituent section index of Rent paid by tenants, which went up by 5.1 percent.

The Alcoholic Beverages, Tobacco & Narcotics group index recorded a decline of 0.7 percent, from 262.6 in August to 260.8 in September. This was due to a drop in the constituent section index of Alcoholic Beverages.

All-Tradable inflation rate was 1.1 percent in September, a decrease of 0.3 of a percentage point on the August 2015 rate of 1.4 percent. The Non-Tradable inflation rate recorded a rise of 0.6 of a percentage point, from 6.8 percent in August to 7.4 percent in September.

The Imported Tradable inflation rate decreased from 0.6 percent to 0.2 percent between August and September while Domestic Tradable inflation rate recorded a drop of 0.2 of a percentage point, from 2.9 percent in August to 2.7 percent in September 2015.

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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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