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BOD JV seals P45 million Ghaghoo Mine acquisition deal 

Botswana Diamonds PLC has, through Okwa Diamonds, its joint venture with Vast Resources Plc, made a move to acquire Ghaghoo Mine located in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) from Gem Diamonds.

BOD announced on Monday that Okwa Diamonds Pty Ltd has conditionally agreed to acquire Gem Diamonds Botswana Pty Ltd (GDB), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gem Diamonds Ltd (Gem Diamonds), for a cash consideration of US$4 million(over P45 million). Gem Diamonds Botswana’s primary asset is the fully permitted Ghaghoo diamond mine in central Botswana, currently under care and maintenance.

BOD has an initial free carried interest of 10% in Okwa Diamonds Pty Ltd (Okwa) for the first US$15 million of expenditure by Okwa, funded by VAST (including the acquisition cash consideration).
After that, BOD will not be diluted below 2.5% of Okwa. BOD can also earn up to 20% interest in Okwa by funding 20% of expenditure.

Under the terms of the joint venture with VAST, BOD will be the operator of the Ghaghoo mine until an agreed management team is in place. The acquisition of GDB is conditional, among other things, on relevant regulatory and competition authority approvals in Botswana and is expected to complete during the latter part of 2021.

Ghaghoo is a 10.8 Ha kimberlite pipe in central Botswana, 300km northwest of Gaborone, which is currently on care and maintenance. The kimberlite pipe has a reported SAMREC compliant Indicated Resource of 79.3 million tonnes at an average grade of 19.5 cpht and diamond value of $242/ct (2014 data)

Diamond assortment includes high-value fancy-coloured diamonds, such as orange and blue stones. Conditional acquisition by the joint venture, Okwa, of a fully permitted diamond mine including mine infrastructure, fit-for-purpose processing plant, and camp, for US$4m (P45 million) is to be funded by VAST.

Ghaghoo is currently under care and maintenance. BOD says the intention is to return the mine into being a commercially successful diamond-producing asset.  James Campbell, Managing Director, commented on the acquisition, said, “Working with our joint venture partner VAST, we have completed thorough due diligence on Ghaghoo. We believe there are significant opportunities to improve Ghaghoo’s operating and financial performance through both the application of new and optimisation of existing technologies along with a strongly recovering diamond market.”

Campbell said Gem Diamonds’ advanced underground mine development and the surface infrastructure already in place means a return to production is potentially possible with an overall objective to target a return to nameplate capacity of 1.25 million tonnes yearly.

For his part, John Teeling, Chairman of Botswana Diamonds PLC, said the company’s joint venture with Vast Resources plc enabled the acquisition of an interest in an advanced mining project at the minimal initial cost.

Mr. Teeling noted that Ghaghoo is one of the largest available diamond resources and is contiguous with Botswana Diamonds’ KX36 project, potentially creating synergies between operations. “Ghaghoo and KX36 are both located in the Central Kalahari, our core area of focus in Botswana. VAST is funding the acquisition cost and initial development capital, and our initial 10% free carry. BOD is the operator for the project and has marketing rights equivalent to our shareholding in Okwa. An excellent development for BOD,” he said.

Ghaghoo is a 10.8-hectare kimberlite pipe located in the Central Kalahari of Botswana and was discovered in 1982 by Falconbridge Mining (later Xstrata) and evaluated in a joint venture with De Beers up to 2007. Gem Diamonds acquired Ghaghoo from De Beers and Xstrata in May 2007. Gem Diamonds continued to evaluate the project, and a study was undertaken in 2010 to determine the most viable way to exploit the deposit.

A Mining Licence was awarded to GDB in 2010. Further work on the kimberlite was deemed appropriate. Gem Diamonds embarked on underground development to bulk sample the pipe in 2011/2012 through a decline shaft, which developed into commercial production in 2015.

GDB holds mining licence 2010/97L issued under Section 41 of the Botswana Mines and Minerals Act which grants GDB a mining licence for 25 years until 21 December 2036. The Government of Botswana does not have any equity in GDB, but a royalty of 10% is payable to the Government of Botswana on all diamonds produced and sold.

Operations were based on a small underground mine that was ultimately not profitable due mainly to the poor diamond market conditions and operational issues. Accordingly, in February 2017, Gem Diamonds placed the mine on care and maintenance after recovering just under 150,000 carats of diamonds.

There is extensive infrastructure on-site, including a diamond processing plant comprising an autogenous mill, dense media separation plant (“DMS”), x-ray recovery, and sort house. BOD’s due diligence has identified a small, low-grade kimberlite stockpile and DMS tailings of up to approximately 80,000 m3, which may contain up to 60% kimberlite.

A resource estimate for Ghaghoo, which uses a bottom cut-off of +1.5mm, was prepared by Venmyn with an effective date of 1 January 2014. This estimate had a reported SAMREC compliant Indicated Resource of 79,390,000 tons with an average grade of 19.51 cpht and diamond value of $242/ct and an Inferred Resource of 28,777,000 tons with a middle grade of 17.52 cpht and an average diamond value of $239/ct.


Food prices continue to rise, but at a slower rate

28th November 2022

Prices for cereals or staple foods in Botswana and other Southern African countries continue to rise at a slower pace, following trends in the global markets, according to the latest November 2022 Food Price Monitoring and Analysis by Food Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

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Still doing business the old way?

18th November 2022

It’s time to get business done better with MTN Business Botswana’s ICT Solutions.

Running a digital businessMTN Business Solutions Botswana, popularly known as MTN Business is an Internet Service Provider. We are a subsidiary of MTN Group Limited, a multinational telecommunications Group headquartered in South Africa, which operates in 19 markets across Africa and the Middle East.

More and more, clients are looking for ways to keep their staff productive in a dynamically changing business environment. Whether your people are working from home, the office or abroad, there is a growing recognition that digitising your operations can offer unprecedented commercial value in flexibility, productivity and growth. This new, digital reality means that it is more important than ever to stay agile – if there is anything that can slow a business down, it is being burdened by othatld technology.

Having made substantial investments in fibre technology, high-speed terrestrial and undersea networks and new frequency spectrum across the markets wherein it operates, MTN is perfectly positioned to respond to this shift in the market.

A few years ago, MTN also made the decision to build an IP capable radio network for its mobile services, giving its core network the ability to seamlessly integrate with enterprise IP networks. The mobile towers deliver services to enterprise clients absolutely anywhere it has a network, shortening the last mile and removing complexity and cost.

Now there is increasing demand from clients to connect their remote sites in all areas, including rural and semi- rural. MTN has assisted clients with overcoming this connectivity hurdle, enabling their staff to get the job done wherever they are.
MTN’s evolution

For MTN, the focus has shifted from just being a core telecommunications services provider, towards also becoming a technology solutions provider. The service offering now also includes Unified Communications, Data Hosting and Cloud Solutions, Security-As-A-Service and Managed Network Services. The scope has changed to being client and industry specific, so the requirements and service portfolio vary from one client to the next. The expectation is that a company like MTN must respond to these challenges, helping clients to get business done better as they shift from old to new technologies.

As many businesses continue to grapple with a digitally dynamic world, they face new challenges that have to be solved. This environment will benefit those that are more digitally enabled and agile. It is a brave new world that will favour online over on-site, wireless over wired and fluid over formulaic. Businesses will seek out partners and suppliers that are every bit as flexible and forward-looking as they are.
Ultimately, clients need partners like MTN Business that will invest in infrastructure, deliver the services they require, have market credibility, are financially sound and have a long-term commitment to their market presence.

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BIE to vitalize the Dignity of Engineers

9th November 2022

Botswana Institution Of Engineers (BIE), has last week hosted a gala dinner in  which they appreciated engineers who worked tirelessly and with dedication for 10 years from 1983 to steer the BIE to its current status.

The event that was held at the Phakalane Golf Estate had brought together young, experienced and veteran engineers and was held under the theme “Vitalize the dignity and eminence of all professional engineers”.

Explaining the theme, the institution’s treasurer, Thanabalasingam Raveendran said that engineers were looked upon reverentially with respect as the educated but with time it seems to have deteriorated. He indicated that there is a need to change the narrative by all means.

“The BIE exists for the welfare and the betterment of us Botswana engineers, we need to recognize specialised units within our Institution. We Engineers strongly believe in Engineers make it happen” Raveendran said.

He indicated that under the theme they appeal to all engineers to energize, to attain quality of being worthy of honour and respect and to achieve recognized superiority amongst the Society.

Raveendran stated that engineers need to ensure their end product is of good quality satisfying the end users expectations and engineers must be honest in their work.

“Approximately 8000 engineers registered with Engineering Regulatory Board (ERB) are not members of the BIE, engineers need to make every effort to recruit them to BIE” he said.

He alluded that BIE being a society, it currently needs to upgrade itself at par with professional institutions elsewhere like the UK and USA.

He further stated that BIE has to have engineering units of specialised disciplines like Civil/Mechanical/electrical etc

“As President Masisi indicated in his inaugural speech, the young people, who make 60 percent of the population of this country, are the future leaders and therefore investing in them is building the bridge to the future” said Raveendran

Kandima indicated that BIE has a memorandum of Understanding with Engineers Registration Board (ERB), where BIE is a recognised provider of CPD training, mentorship programmes and more importantly IPD undertaking to upgrade the skills and know-how of our engineers.

“For us to achieve our mandate and make worthwhile changes to engineering in Botswana, we have to be totally focused and act with intent” said Kandima.

Furthermore, Stephen Williams, past president of the BIE from 1986-1988 told the engineers that  the BIE provides a fertile environment where they can meet, share ideas and grow professionally.

“The BIE is also a nesting place for graduate engineers to learn from their peers and seniors, it also cater for engineering technicians and technologists and so nobody in the technology field is left out” he said.

He further indicated that Botswana Government provides a conductive environment for growth of engineering professionals.

“It must be stated that the Botswana Government recognises the existence of BIE and it can further be stated that the government enables ERB to carry out its mandate as a regulator of engineering professionals” said Williams

He plead with engineering companies to recognize and support BIE as it is the only source of engineering personnel’s for various Industries .

Furthermore, when giving his farewell speech, Michael Pinard , a past president of the institution  said how they are viewed as engineers by the general public might be due to some lack of appreciation as to exactly what role they play in the development of the country.

“The BIE slogan is aptly coined-Engineers make it happen, in other words, what man dreams engineers create” Said Pinard.

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