Archive for the ‘Mining’ Category

source: Mmegi

The concept of Botswana’s diamond industry as a regional hub takes the local centre that characterised the previous stage one step further.

The idea of founding a diamond centre in Botswana was born as early as 2002, but the centre was actually established only in 2008. Akolang Tombale, the architect of the Botswana diamond industry, who was born and raised in Botswana when it was a poor country, before diamond production began, was named coordinator of the diamond hub. After his recent retirement from the post, he was succeeded by Jacob Anthony Rakgomo Thamage, who also serves as head of Botswana’s diamond administration and its diamond controller. During a recent trip to Israel IsraeliDiamonds spoke with Thamage and the president’s representative in [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Edgar Tsimane
23-08-2010

De Beers says it is “cautiously optimistic” that the year will be good for Botswana’s diamond industry amid challenges ahead.

The company’s resident director and chief executive officer, Neo Moroka, announced before a stakeholder engagement breakfast Thursday that there were signs of recovery in the diamond market following a slump in diamond sales a little under two years ago.

The company says while it has posted successful first half year results, De Beers still conducts its business in “a challenging atmosphere and a fragile economic climate”.

De Beers says there are several forces that will shape the future of Botswana’s diamond industry in the foreseeable future. The other challenge, the company says, is how Botswana maintains and manages valuable resources. Moroka says the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
BRIAN BENZA
Staff Writer

Shareholders of Botswana’s latest diamond junior miner, Firestone Diamonds, will meet next month to vote on a proposed acquisition of South African Kopane, a transaction that will catapult the former from a junior company to a mid-tier miner, if it goes through.

Firestone, which is expected to list on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) soon, last month released details of its proposed takeover of Kopane through a scheme of arrangement.

An all-share offer by Firestone will involve 0,4657 of a share for every Kopane share.

The acquisition is expected to support the company’s aspiration to evolve into a mid-tier diamond producer with potential to produce more than one [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Mbongeni Mguni
Staff Writer

Botswana has again retained its coveted status as the most preferred mining and minerals investment destination in Africa, according to the authoritative 2010 Mid-Year Update of the Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies.

Released last Wednesday, the Survey captures the views of 429 mining executives operating in 51 jurisdictions assessed by Fraser Institute researchers between June 1 and 30, 2010.

The researchers ranked jurisdictions – which include countries and geographic distinctions within countries – according to the Survey participants’ responses to 11 policy areas, which collectively determine the attractiveness of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
MBONGENI MGUNI
Staff Writer

De Beers says its sightholders are free to participate in open tenders organised by rival diamond producers, clearing the path for the 16 local cutting and polishing firms.

Firestone Diamonds is soon expected to approach the market with a parcel of diamonds from its BK 11 Mine which commenced production last month, while African Diamonds has also sealed a mining licence empowering it to market its diamonds in the open market.

Market sources recently told BusinessWeek that local diamond manufacturers had been liaising with their international parent companies to determine whether they can participate in [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
MBONGENI MGUNI
Staff Writer

The value of Botswana’s diamond exports for the second quarter have come in marginally lower than the same period last year, with P4.49 billion worth of precious stones being sold between April and May.

The figure represents a 4.6 percent decline in Pula terms from the revenue earned from exports over the second quarter of 2009. In US dollar terms, the decline is 0.83 percent, reflecting the Pula’s weaker position over the greenback in the second quarter.

During the second quarter last year, the Pula averaged P7.18 against the greenback, while it has averaged [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Godfrey Ganetsang
02-08-2010

Diamond miner—Debswana–continues to outsource and privatise activities and operations that are not in line with its core business of mining, parliament has been told.

This was revealed by the Minister of Minerals Energy and Water Resources Ponatsego Kedikilwe when responding to a question from Ngwaketse West MP, Mephato Reatile.

The MP, whose area includes Jwaneng where Debswana has an operation, had wanted to know the details of the services that Debswana planned to outsource and when the privatisation exercise will be complete.

Debswana completed privatisation and outsourcing of services like cleaning, catering, gardening, retail, bottle store, printing and household gas provision in 2008.

“Debswana has commenced prefeasibility studies to assess privatisation and [continue reading]

source: The Botswana Gazette
Written by AUBREY LUTE
Wednesday, 07 July 2010 00:00

• Synthetic diamonds could be threat to natural gems
• 70% of women would buy synthetic if its cheaper Although there is a significant uncertainty as to how consumers will react to synthetic diamonds because of the current low volumes of production, market research studies suggest that up to 70% of women would accept or buy a synthetic diamond if prices were lower than those of natural diamonds.

The Gazette has learnt that synthetics are likely to be a bigger risk to the fashion segment than the bridal segment.

Experts have warned that the diamond industry would require coordinated action so as to engage in some marketing project geared towards differentiating natural diamonds from synthetics.

As for Botswana, the biggest producer of natural diamonds both by quality and volume, can only hope that De Beers, through its Element Six arm is not encouraged to enter the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Brian Benza
Staff writer

In what could be a boost to government’s shrunken national purse, Debswana says it has recorded encouraging diamond sales in the first quarter of the year as the market recovers along with the global economy.

Speaking at a 2009 annual review briefing in Gaborone last week, Debswana managing director, Blackie Marole said prospects for 2010 and beyond look good and the sale of diamonds in the first three months of the year is already showing positive signs.

Due to the world economic crisis, Debswana only produced 17 million carats in 2009 down from 32 million carats in 2008 leading to a 50 percent cut in revenue to the national coffers from the diamond mining giant.

The company says it is [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
MBONGENI MGUNI
Staff Writer

That profitability has returned to the mining sector can be seen in latest data indicating that earnings from the country’s mines for the first two months of the year have already eclipsed that of the first quarter of 2009.

Diamond exports for the first quarter of last year amounted to P1.5 billion while for January and February 2010 alone, the industry has already earned P3 billion. Analysts believe the higher figures for this year are more a reflection of higher diamond demand and prices, although Debswana cut back production in the first quarter of 2009 due to low gemstone prices.

According to estimates from Harry Winston – a diamond company with production and retail interests – after plummeting in September 2008, rough diamond prices have generally recovered to pre-recession levels.

Recovery is being driven by demand in China, India, Europe and increasingly the United States, that has traditionally been the main consumer of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
BRAIN BENZA
Staff Writer

Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE)-listed Discovery Metals Limited (DML) has reported that a scoping study at its Boseto copper project, in Botswana, has confirmed the economic viability of underground operations at the Zeta mineral resource.

“The positive results of this study are very encouraging. The study shows that a Zeta underground mine has the potential to add significant value to shareholders through increased operational flexibility and optionality in relation to the copper price, production volumes and extensions to mine life,” said DML managing director Brad Sampson in a statement.

In addition, the scoping study has shown that the mine has a “very low” incremental development capital cost with attendant scope for rapid payback, Sampson added.

“We envisage that the Zeta underground proposal will improve in the future because at this stage the scoping study manager has [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
ISAIAH MOREWAGAE
Staff Writer

The government will go ahead with the construction of the radioactive storage facility in Pilikwe village despite the numerous objections from the residents.

The facility is to be constructed during the 2010/2011 financial year. The Minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology, Johnnie Swartz yesterday asked Parliament to approve a total P7 of 000, 000 for the Atomic Energy Usage and Radiation Protection Inspectorate project for constructing the Orphan Radioactive Storage Facility in the Central District.

Swartz told Parliament that the Radiation Protection Board continues to develop guidelines to assist the users to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
16 March, 2010

LETLHAKANE – Firestone Diamonds is set to open its first diamond mine in the country at the Boteti sub-district near Letlhakane area known as BK11 mine, Boteti sub-district councilors were informed at the Boteti sub-district during the councilors full sub council meeting held at Letlhakane recently.

Chief geologist, Mr Polite Khutjwe told the councilors that the BK 11 mine emerged from the 2006 subsidiary monarch ventures license in which Firestone Diamonds acquired 90 percent of shares while 10 percent was owned by some citizen owned companies.

Mr Khutjwe said prior to the Monarch venture license, the company had obtained a license in several parts of Botswana mainly Boteti and Tsabong districts noting that they were mainly for diamond exploration in [continue reading]

source: BOPA
09 March, 2010

GABORONE -The decision to continue the closure of Damtshaa Mine this year was informed by the Debswana Diamond Company production budget, which will be at 60 per cent relative to 2008 levels.

Answering a question from Boteti North MP, Mr Slumber Tsogwane, the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Mr Ponatshego Kedikilwe said production budgets were set to align mine output with market demand.

Mr Tsogwane had asked the minister what informed the closure of Damtshaa Mine and when other companies other than De Beers intended to start operations in the small mines around Letlhakane.

He further wanted the minister to say when he intended resuming the mining of diamonds at all the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
10 February, 2010

LERALA – Negotiations aimed at re-opening Lerala diamond mine are still ongoing, says the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Mr Ponatshego Kedikilwe.

Production at the miane was suspended indefinitely early last year due to the global financial downturn, which resulted in reduced prices of mineral commodities.

As a result of the mine closure, 284 jobs were lost. DiamonExs first disappointing sale was in October, 2008 when the price was 35 per cent below the actual value of diamonds.

The effects of the financial crisis were also felt by Orapa and Jwaneng mines, which responded by scaling down production and [continue reading]