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Limited funds derail Tlou commercial gas flow ambitions

Tlou Energy, a Botswana Stock Exchange listed junior exploration  company developing Botswana’s first coal bed methane (CBM) natural gas  project has signaled limited funds as an impediment to desired progress in archiving its commercial gas flow targets.

The company shared this update through its business update for the last quarter of 2019, released this week. During 2019, Tlou commenced production testing at two Pods in the Lesedi project, namely Lesedi 3 and Lesedi 4. The aim of the production testing was to establish a commercial gas flow rate from one or both of these pods.

Tlou announced at end of second quarter 2019 that initial gas flow rates of approximately 20 Mscfd (thousand standard cubic feet per day) from each of Lesedi 3 and Lesedi 4 were archived. The Company‘s targets are a minimum sustained gas flow rate in the region of 80-100 Mscfd from each production pod.

In this latest operation reports the energy outfit which is also listed on the Australia Securities Exchange and London‘s Alternative Investment Market( AIM)   revealed that gas flow rates have continued to fluctuate both up and down with periodic short-term rates observed which have been much higher than those initially announced.

“We will not be in a position to announce an increased rate until such time that higher levels are sustained and confirmed by our advisors, we are operating in a region where commercial CBM had not been produced before so there is no comparable data from this operating environment regarding how long it may take, or if it is even possible, for a commercial gas flow to be achieved,” shared Tlou Directors.

However the company says based on information to date, the Company has no reason to believe that the targeted commercial gas flow rates will not be achieved noting that they are generally pleased with well performance to date. Tlou Energy Managing Director Anthony Gilby says as junior exploration and Development Company, Tlou’s funds are limited and therefore caution is being taken by the Company to try and ensure that the production wells are managed without risking damage to, or loss of, either production pod. “This impacts the length of time taken to produce a commercial gas flow,” he said.

CBM gas production testing involves the extraction of water and gas from a coal seam. Typically, the water rate starts high and as this reduces, the gas rate increases.  The reports states that since the Lesedi 3 and 4 pods have been in production, water rates have reduced with the aim of taking as much water as possible out of the underground coal seam reservoir. “Once this is achieved, the coal is expected to be more gas saturated and therefore the gas flow rate should increase significantly.”

Anthony Gilby reiterated that to achieve increased gas saturation is not a simple process as it requires careful management of pressure levels within the wells noting that each of the Lesedi 3 and 4 production pods consist of three wells – one vertical production well and two intersecting lateral wells.

“The Lesedi 3 and 4 pods are producing water in isolation which makes dewatering a slower and more difficult exercise than would otherwise be the case in a full field development. In a field development scenario, an array of wells would be located adjacent to each other which would serve to facilitate dewatering,” he said.

BDC FUNDING

To further finance the project and ensure smooth exploration works towards achieving target commercial gas rates Tlou Energy has turned to wholly government owned investment arm Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) for funding. “We are in continuous negotiations with Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) to fund development of this watershed project, the first 10MW of the Lesedi CBM Gas-to-Power project in Botswana and we have received an indicative non-binding term sheet as the negotiations have progressed,” revealed Tlou MD.

Gilby stated that the initial proposal forms the basis for further discussion and negotiation prior to finalization and thus remains confidential. “Further details will be provided if and when a binding term sheet is agreed,” he said.  BDC is owned by the Government of Botswana with a mandate to provide financial assistance to commercially viable projects. Tlou says it is also in discussions with other parties interested in funding the Company though debt, equity and mezzanine finance.

SUPPLYING POWER TO GOVERNMENT

Tlou Energy‘s end goal is to deliver Gas-to-Power solutions in Botswana and southern Africa to alleviate some of the chronic power shortage in the region. In 2019 the company submitted a tender to Ministry of Minerals Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security (MMGE) for the Development of a CBM-fueled power plant in Botswana and was subsequently selected as a preferred bidder.

If successful, ongoing negotiations will result in the Company agreeing a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Government of Botswana, whereby Botswana Power Corporation (BPC), the national electricity utility would purchase the power produced by Tlou at the Lesedi CBM project. According to the report Government has taken additional time to assess their proposal including appointing qualified persons to assess the project. This was done to insure proper due diligence as CBM gas-to-power projects are new in Botswana,

To prevent further delays and allow Tlou to secure finance, Tlou has requested an interim PPA so that development of the Lesedi CBM gas-to-power project can commence sooner rather than later. Tlou Executives explained that the initial PPA could then be superseded by the final PPA once the MMGE has completed its assessment and negotiation.

In addition to the planned CBM development, Tlou also has environmental approval for 20MW of solar power generation. The company says Solar and CBM electricity generation can work extremely well together, with CBM providing base load power when solar is not available.

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China’s GDP expands 3% in 2022 despite various pressures

2nd February 2023
China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 3% year-on-year to 121.02 trillion yuan ($17.93 trillion) in 2022 despite being mired in various growth pressures, according to data from the National Bureau Statistics.

The annual growth rate beat a median economist forecast of 2.8% as polled by Reuters. The country’s fourth-quarter GDP growth of 2.9% also surpassed expectations for a 1.8% increase.

In 2022, the Chinese economy encountered more difficulties and challenges than was expected amid a complex domestic and international situation. However, NBS said economic growth stabilized after various measures were taken to shore up growth.

Industrial output rose 3.6% in 2022 over the previous year, while retail sales slightly shrank by 0.2% data show that fixed-asset investment increased 5.1% over 2021, with a 9.1% hike in manufacturing investment but a 10% fall in property investment.

China created 12.06 million new jobs in urban regions throughout the year, surpassing its annual target of 11 million, and officials have stressed the importance of continuing an employment-first policy in 2023.

Meanwhile, China tourism market is a step closer to robust recovery. Tourism operators are in high spirits because the market saw a good chance of a robust recovery during the Spring Festival holiday amid relaxed COVID-19 travel policies.

On January 27, the last day of the seven-day break, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism published an encouraging performance report of the tourism market. It said that domestic destinations and attractions received 308 million visits, up 23.1% year-on-year. The number is roughly 88.6% of that in 2019, they year before the pandemic hit.

According to the report, tourism-related revenue generated during the seven-day period was about 375.8 billion yuan ($55.41 billion), a year-on-year rise of 30%. The revenue was about 73% of that in 2019, the Ministry said.

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Jewellery manufacturing plant to create over 100 jobs

30th January 2023

The state of the art jewellery manufacturing plant that has been set up by international diamond and cutting company, KGK Diamonds Botswana will create over 100 jobs, of which 89 percent will be localized.

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Investors inject capital into Tsodilo Resources Company

25th January 2023

Local diamond and metal exploration company Tsodilo Resources Limited has negotiated a non-brokered private placement of 2,200, 914 units of the company at a price per unit of 0.20 US Dollars, which will provide gross proceeds to the company in the amount of C$440, 188. 20.

According to a statement from the group, proceeds from the private placement will be used for the betterment of the Xaudum iron formation project in Botswana and general corporate purposes.

The statement says every unit of the company will consist of a common share in the capital of the company and one Common Share purchase warrant of the company.

Each warrant will enable a holder to make a single purchase for the period of 24 months at an amount of $0.20. As per regularity requirements, the group indicates that the common shares and warrants will be subject to a four month plus a day hold period from date of closure.

Tsodilo is exempt from the formal valuation and minority shareholder approval requirements. This is for the reason that the fair market value of the private placement, insofar as it involves the director, is not more than 25% of the company’s market capitalization.

Tsodilo Resources Limited is an international diamond and metals exploration company engaged in the search for economic diamond and metal deposits at its Bosoto Limited and Gcwihaba Resources projects in Botswana.  The company has a 100% stake in Bosoto which holds the BK16 kimberlite project in the Orapa Kimberlite Field (OKF) in Botswana.

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