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DML copper production declines


In the results of its last quarterly report (Q2 FY15) of October, November and December 2014, Discovery Metals Limited’ 100% owned Boseto Copper Operation in Botswana, reflected a general decline in performance across most of the company’s metrics. The reports were provided for mining, concentrator performance, metal production and costs for the last three months of 2014.

DML experienced a 13 percent decrease in copper production compared to the 20 percent increase it had in Q1 FY15 (of July, August and September.) In Q2 FY15 the company had a quarterly production of 5,569 tonnes of copper in concentrate produced declining from the quarterly production of 6,428 tonnes copper in concentrate produced it recorded in Q1 FY15.

The company recorded a 19% decrease in material mined (7.56 Mt total material mined) compared with the 3% increase of Q1 FY15 which had 9.31 Mt total material mined. There was also a 3% decrease of High–grade sulphide recovery of 90.0% compared to 3% increase of High–grade sulphide recovery of 93.3%.   

The report states that this decline in performance was the result of progressive decommissioning of the Zeta open pit which was the operation’s main source of higher grade sulphide ore. Ore to ROM for Q2 FY15 was delivered from Zeta and Plutus Stage 1 pits during the first month of the quarter.

The main sources of ore supply to the ROM during the last two months of the quarter were sulphide and transitional ore from Plutus Stages 1 and 2 with only minor volumes of sulphide ore still coming from the Zeta pit’s “good bye cuts”.

The process plant continued to be compromised by inconsistent supply of ore during the quarter. Process performance was also affected by the treatment of significant volumes of transitional ore from the Plutus Stage 2 pit and the treatment of the low grade stockpile that had accumulated from the previous quarter.     

All pits were redesigned for the change in commodity prices and to allow the new plan to put the Operation into care and maintenance by June 2015 to be implemented. DML revealed that their focus going forward is to safely and effectively execute the new mine plan aimed at putting the Operation into care and maintenance by June 2015 to ensure that production and revenues from the Operation are maximized within this time period. Simultaneously the company will be actively pursuing the commencement of development of the Zeta underground development.

The report further state that total material movement performance was lower as a result of the loss of Excavator 903 (EX903) due to a fire incident and major component change out work on EX902 for a full month. This is said to have had negative impacts on the progress to expose additional ore faces, hence adversely affecting quality ore delivery to the ROM pad.

Copper produced for the quarter was 13% lower than 20% higher of Q1 FY15, while contained silver was 26% lower compared to 41% higher contained silver of Q1 FY15. Decreased metal production was due to reduced higher grade sulphide ore treated from Zeta as this pit was depleted and increased low recovery transitional ore as the Plutus Stage 2 pit started delivering ore to the ROM pad following waste stripping in Q1 FY15. Due to this factors concentrate production also deteriorated by 16% compared to 20% improvement of Q1 FY15.

As for the financial performance C1 cash costs per pound of copper production had a 53% increase ($2.89/lb) compared to 40% decrease (US$1.89/lb) of Q1 FY15. The report explains that the two drivers of the increase were the 13% quarter on quarter decrease in copper in concentrate produced and in Q1 FY15, $9.6m of Plutus Stage 2 overburden waste stripping costs were capitalized to the balance sheet in accordance with applicable accounting standards.

In Q2 FY15, production of the first ore from Plutus Stage 2 (169kt ore mined) was achieved and in line with the accounting standards the cost capitalized ($6.7m) during the quarter was significantly less. The $2.9m reduction in cost capitalized accounted for $0.36 of the $1.00 increase in C1 cash cost.

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Dark days as Aviation industry collapses

22nd November 2020
Air Botswana

As the Aviation industry takes a COVID-19 pummeling, for Africa the numbers are staggering, Chief Executive Officer of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Alexandre de Juniac has observed.

Speaking recently at the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) has been hosting an Annual General Assembly, de Juniac said traffic is down 89% and revenue loses are expected to reach $6 billion. And this figure is likely to be revised downwards in the next forecast to be released later this month. “But the impact is much broader. The consequences of the breakdown in connectivity are severe,” he surmised.

According to de Juniac, five million African livelihoods are at risk while aviation-supported GDP could fall by as much as $37 billion. That’s a 58% fall.

“We have a health crisis. And it is evolving into a jobs and economic disaster. Fixing it is beyond the scope of what the industry can do by itself.”

He said they need governments to act, “And act fast to prevent a calamity.”

“We are in the middle of the biggest crisis our industry has ever faced. As leaders of Africa’s aviation industry, you know that firsthand. Airline revenues have collapsed. Fleets are grounded. And you are taking extreme actions just to survive. We all support efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.  It is our duty and we will prevail. But policymakers must know that this has come at a great cost to jobs, individual freedoms and entire economies,” he said.

de Juniac used the AFRA general assembly platform to amplify IATA’s call for governments to address two top priorities: “The first is unblocking committed financial relief. Airlines will go bust without it. Already four African carriers have ceased operations and two are in administration. Without financial relief, many others will follow.”

Over US$31 billion in financial support has been pledged by African governments, international finance bodies and other institutions, including the African Development Bank, the African Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Unfortunately de Juniac pointed out, in his words, “Pledges do not pay the bills. And little of this funding has materialized. And let me emphasize that, while we are calling for relief for aviation, this is an investment in the future of the continent. It will need financially viable airlines to support the economic recovery from COVID-19.”

The second priority, according to IATA is to safely re-open borders using testing and without quarantines.

“People have not lost their desire to travel. Border closures and travel restrictions make it effectively impossible. Forty-four countries in Africa have opened their borders to regional and international air travel. In 20 of these countries, passengers are still subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Who would travel under such conditions?” de Juniac quizzed rhetorically.

He suggested that countries should adopt systematic testing before departure provides a safe alternative to quarantine and a solution to stop the economic and social devastation being caused by COVID-19.

He admitted that it’s a frightening time for everyone, not least the millions of people whose livelihoods depend on a functioning airline industry. Right now, de Juniac said there essentially is no airline industry. He cited the example that China’s largest airlines sound optimistic, but in a vague way. “They gave no hard data about current yields, loads, or forward bookings, discussing only developments in 2019. Boy, does that seem like ages ago.”

Aviation’s darkest days

The IATA CEO said these are the darkest days in aviation’s history. “But as leaders of this great industry I know that you will share with me continued confidence in the future.

Our customers want to fly. They desire the exploration that aviation enables. They need to do international business that aviation facilitates. And they long to reunite with family and loved ones.”

He said the industry will, no doubt, be changed by this crisis, but flying will return. “Airlines will be back in the skies. The resilience of our industry has been proven many times. We will rise again,” he said.

de Juniac said Aviation is a business of freedom. “For Africa that is the freedom to develop and thrive. And that is not something people on this continent will forget or lose their desire for.”

 

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Inflation increased to 2.2% in October 2020

22nd November 2020

Headline inflation increased from 1.8 percent in September to 2.2 percent in October 2020, but remained below the lower bound of the Bank’s medium-term objective range of 3 – 6 percent, and lower than the 2.4 percent in October 2019.

According to Statistics Botswana, the increase in inflation between September and October 2020 mainly reflects the upward adjustment in domestic fuel prices {Transport (from -3.9 to -2.5 percent)}, which is estimated to have increased inflation by approximately 0.29 percentage points.

“There was also a rise in the annual price increase for most categories of goods and services: Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (from 6.2 to 6.6 percent); Clothing and Footwear (from 2.5 to 2.7 percent); Communications (from 0.6 to 0.9 percent); Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels (from 6.4 to 6.6 percent); Recreation and Culture (from 0 to 0.2 percent); Miscellaneous Goods and Services (from 0.7 to 0.9 percent); Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages (from 4.2 to 4.3 percent); and Furnishing, Household Equipment and Routine Maintenance (from 2 to 2.1 percent). Inflation remained stable for: Education (4.7 percent); Restaurants and Hotels (3 percent); and Health (1.5 percent). Similarly, the 16 percent trimmed mean inflation and inflation excluding administered prices rose from 1.8 percent and 3.1 percent to 2.2 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively, in the same period.”

[Source: Bank of Botswana]

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BDC injects further P64 million into Kromberg & Schubert

22nd November 2020
BDC

Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) has to date pumped a total of P100 million into the expansion of Kromberg and Schubert, a car harnessing manufacturing company, operating from Gaborone Old Naledi.

At the official ground breaking ceremony of the company‘s new warehouse today, BDC Managing Director, Cross Kgosidiile revealed the wholly state owned investment corporation has pumped P64 million into the expansion which entailed building of the new warehouse.

Kgosidiile explained that this follows another expansion project which was successfully launched in 2017, in which BDC invested P36 million, bringing the total investment into Kromberg at P100 million. The MD also acknowledged Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) as a partner in the project and for having facilitated the acquisition of the land.

 

Giving a keynote address, Minister of Investment, Trade & Industry, Peggy Serame highlighted the importance of infrastructural development in growing the local manufacturing sector and transforming the economy of Botswana.

Serame underscored the value of strategic partnerships between Government and the private sector, noting that when the two work together and pull together in one direction results will be evident and jobs will be created.

“With the prevailing conditions of depressed economy occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic, government is reliant on entities like BDC to bring in revenue and acceleration of private sector development in line with its mandate and strategic plan. This plan is supported by the need to invest in growth sectors and accelerate the implementation of the Economic Diversification Drive,” Serame said.

Minister Serame noted that the partnership between BDC and Kromberg & Schubert begun in 2017 when the P36 million, 4100 square metres factory expansion for the company was launched.

 

She said the launch of the 7320 square meters factory expansion, to be built at the tune of P64 million signals the continuation of the good partnership between the two companies.

 

“I must commend BDC for their continuous efforts to build partnerships with the private sector geared towards contributing to economic development of this country.”

 

Minister Serame also added that BITC through its robust investor aftercare programme continues to provide value added and red carpet to Kromberg and Schubert under their One Stop Service Centre.

 

“In this regard BITC facilitated acquisition of land to enable this expansion. I therefore would like to commend BITC for their timely facilitation to make this expansion possible,” the minister said.

 

Kromberg & Schubert was incorporated in Botswana in 2009; The Company has grown to asset its position as a significant player in the regional automotive industry value chain.

 

The company is also a critical player in the economic development of Botswana, it currently employs 2100 Batswana across its operations. Kromberg exports on average P2.0 billion worth of goods annually, contributing significantly to foreign exchange.

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