Botswana’s economic engine, the Mining sector didn’t have easy in the first three months of 2020, figures released by Statistics Botswana reveal.
The Index of Mining Production, a quarterly publication by Botswana’s central data body shows that Mining production stood at numerical index figure of 84.6 during the first quarter of 2020.
This mirrors a year-on-year decrease of 5.6 percent from the index of 89.6 recorded during the first quarter of 2019. Comparison on a quarter-on-quarter basis shows a decrease of 3.7 percent, from the index of 87.8 realized during the fourth quarter of 2019 to 84.6 registered during the first quarter of 2020.
Diamond production which primarily accounts for the gist of Botswana’s national revenue declined by 5.7 percent during the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter of the previous year.
At the same time, the quarter-on-quarter analysis shows that production registered a negative growth rate of 4.0 percent during the first quarter of 2020 compared to the preceding quarter.
Statistics Botswana says the decline is attributable to mining of lower grade ore from one of the key operating mines and challenges experienced by the other mine in relation to commissioning of the new plant infrastructure. On a positive note Gold production increased by 7.2 percent during the first quarter of 2020, after declining for the four consecutive quarters of 2019.
The positive growth was as a result of higher than expected gold recoveries from the ore which came at a time where gold prices were showing some improvement. On the other hand, quarter-on-quarter analysis reflects a decrease of 0.5 percent during the first quarter of 2020 compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.
Soda Ash production declined for the third consecutive quarter, decreasing by 12.8 percent during the first quarter of 2020, compared to the same quarter of the previous year. The decrease in production is attributable to the inefficiency of the plants to operate at full capacity. On the other hand, the quarter on-quarter analysis shows that Soda Ash production increased by 3.1 percent during the period under review.
Salt production increased by 2.5 percent during the first quarter of 2020, after declining during the previous two quarters. The increase was in response to high demand of the commodity by the regional markets. The quarter-on-quarter comparison shows an increase of 15.3 percent during the period under review.
Coal production increased by 4.9 percent compared to the same quarter in 2019. The increase was a result of the efforts made to meet both the international and domestic demand; particularly that Morupule A Power Plant has started operating in order to augment electricity produced by Morupule B Power Plant which has resumed remedial works on the boilers. Comparison of production during the first quarter of 2020 and the fourth quarter of 2019 shows a 27.3 percent increase.
Copper-Nickel-Cobalt Matte, Copper in Concentrates and Silver recorded zero production during the period under review. The instability and uncertainty of commodity prices affected production at the associated mines, leading to provisional liquidation as mining operations could not be sustained at the current prices.
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.
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 companyâ€™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. Â The company has a 100% stake in Bosoto which holds the BK16 kimberlite project in the Orapa Kimberlite Field (OKF) in Botswana.
African heads of state and global CEOs at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting backed the launch of the first of its kind report on how public-private partnerships can support the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
AfCFTA: A New Era for Global Business and Investment in Africa outlines high-potential sectors, initiatives to support business and investment, operational tools to facilitate the AfCFTA, and illustrative examples from successful businesses in Africa to guide businesses in entering and expanding in this area.
The report aims to provide a pathway for global businesses and investors to understand the biggest trends, opportunities and strategies to successfully invest and achieve high returns in Africa, developing local, sub-regional and continental value chains and accelerating industrialization, all of which go hand in hand with the success of the AfCFTA.
The AfCFTA is the largest free trade area in the world, by area and number of participating countries. Once fully implemented, it will be the fifth-largest economy in the world, with the potential to have a combined GDP of more than $3.4 trillion. Conceived in 2018, it now has 54 national economies in Africa, could attract billions in foreign investment, and boost overseas exports by a third, double intra-continental trade, raise incomes by 8% and lift 50 million people out of poverty.
To ease the pain of transition to its new single market, Africa has learned from trade liberalization in North America and Europe. â€śOur wide range of partners and experience can help anticipate and mitigate potential disruptions in business and production dynamics,â€ť said BĂ¸rge Brende, President, and World Economic Forum. â€śThe Forumâ€™s initiatives will help to ease physical, capital and digital flows in Africa through stakeholder collaboration, private-public collaboration and information-sharing.â€ť
Given the continentâ€™s historically low foreign direct investment relative to other regions, the report highlights the sense of excitement as the AfCFTA lowers or removes barriers to trade and competitiveness. â€śThe promising gains from an integrated African market should be a signal to investors around the world that the continent is ripe for business creation, integration and expansion,â€ť said Chido Munyati, Head of Regional Agenda, Africa, World Economic Forum.
The report focuses on four key sectors that have a combined worth of $130 billion and represent high-potential opportunities for companies looking to invest in Africa: automotive; agriculture and agroprocessing; pharmaceuticals; and transport and logistics.
â€śMacro trends in the four key sectors and across Africaâ€™s growth potential reveal tremendous opportunities for business expansion as population, income and connectivity are on the rise,â€ť said Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General, AfCFTA Secretariat.
The Forum is actively working towards implementing trade and investment tools through initiatives, such as Friends of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, to align with the negotiation process of the AfCFTA. It identifies areas where public-private collaboration can help reduce barriers and facilitate investment from international firms.
About the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023
The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023 convenes the worldâ€™s foremost leaders under the theme, Cooperation in a Fragmented World. It calls on world leaders to address immediate economic, energy and food crises while laying the groundwork for a more sustainable, resilient world. For further information,