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Lucara 2021 revenue surge by 84 %

Eira Thomas

Lucara Diamond Corporation, 100 percent owners of Karowe Mine, on Friday released their financials for the year 2021.

Revenue closed the year at $230.1 million (over P2.5 billion) an increase of 84% from the 2020 figure of $125.3 million (just over P1.3 billion). Average price per carat sold increased to $603/carat, an 80% increase over the previous year.

Adjusted EBITDA of $102.5 million increased more than five-fold over the adjusted EBITDA of $18.4 million for the same period in 2020, attributed primarily to higher revenues. Net income for the year increased to $23.8 million, or $0.06 earnings per share.

A total of 841 Specials (single diamonds in excess of 10.8 carats) recovered, representing 7.8% weight percent Specials, the highest annual volume of Specials recovered since Karowe commenced production in 2012. The third +1,000 carat diamond recovered since 2015.

A record 2.8 million tonnes of ore processed, representing a new annual record since the start of production at the Karowe Mine. Equity and debt financings totalling $250 million concluded mid-2021 will support a $534 million underground expansion project at the Karowe Mine in Botswana.

The Karowe underground expansion project was formally approved by the Board of Directors and a total project investment of $86.3 million during 2021 focused on detailed design and engineering, establishing surface infrastructure and shaft pre-sinking.

Total sales volume of $28.7 million transacted on the Clara platform, a 168% increase from the $10.7 million transacted in 2020.

Operating cash costs of $30.02 per tonne processed(1) (2020: $27.80 per tonne processed) are 8% higher than the prior year because of a combination of increased mining and processing activity and higher power, labour and insurance costs.

As at December 31, 2021, Lucara had cash and cash equivalents of $27.0 million and $23.0 million drawn ($27.0 million available) from a $50 million working capital facility.

First drawdown under the $220 million senior secured project financing debt package for an underground expansion at the Karowe Mine occurred in September 2021.

As at December 31, 2021, the Company had drawn $25.0 million from the project loan facility and had reduced the outstanding balance on the working capital facility from $50.0 to $23.0 million. After year-end the Company completed a second draw of $20.0 million from the project finance facility.

Two equity financings were closed that generated net proceeds of $31.3 million from the sale of 55,157,733 common shares at a price of C$0.75 per share, including the acquisition of 16.4 million common shares by the Company’s largest shareholder.

Ore and waste mined at Karowe totaled 3.7 million tonnes (2020: 3.0) and 2.6 million (2020: 2.7), respectively.2.8 million tonnes (2020: 2.7) of ore processed representing a new annual record since the start of production at the Karowe Mine.

A total of 369,390 carats recovered at a recovered grade of 12.93 carats per hundred tonnes of direct milled ore. A total of 39 diamonds greater than 100 carats were recovered during the year, including eight diamonds greater than 300 carats, eight diamonds between 200 and 300 carats, along with a further 23 stones between 100 and 200 carats in weight.

Commenting on the financials Lucara President and Chief Executive Officer Eira Thomas said 2021 was a pivotal year for Lucara, having de-risked the company’s future growth strategy with the sanction of the fully financed, Karowe underground expansion project, conservatively estimated to add $4 billion to future revenues and extend mine life to at least 2040.

“As important, the diamond market continued to gain momentum throughout the year, supported by improving fundamentals that reflect declining global rough diamond supply combined with rising demand and record diamond jewelry sales.

Higher diamond prices combined with solid operational performance at the mine and Lucara’s novel, diversified approach to diamond sales through HB, Clara and traditional tenders has delivered strong revenues for the Company in 2021, demonstrating a full recovery from the challenges of the pandemic, and reflecting a much better outlook for 2022 and beyond as we continue to benefit from one of the strongest diamond markets we have seen in the better part of a decade,” she said.

Business

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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Business

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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Business

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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