Botswana-Mining-Economy

Botswana’s mining industry in dire straits

APA-Gaborone (Botswana)

State run Statistics Botswana has revealed that the country’s mining industry is facing serious problems, APA can reveal here on Tuesday.

According to a report seen by APA , The Index of Mining Production stood at 85.6 during the third quarter of  2019, showing a year-on-year decrease of 1.8 percent from the index of  87.1 recorded during the third quarter of 2018. 

Comparison on a quarter-on-quarter basis shows a decrease of 0.4 percent, from the index of 85.9 realised during the second quarter of 2019 to 85.6 registered during the third quarter of 2019. 

The report further shows the contribution of each mineral and mineral group to the Year-on-Year Percentage Change in the Volume of Mining Production, and hence provides a reflection of the trend in the local mining sector.

 Diamond  production decreased by 0.7 percent during the third quarter of 2019  compared to the same quarter the previous year. 

Although diamond production dropped, it is important to note that the decline resulted mainly from planned strategy to reduce bulky production in order to  align production with trading conditions. 

The quarter-on-quarter analysis reflects that diamond production decreased by 0.7 percent during the third quarter of 2019 compared to the second quarter of 2019.  

Even though there is a decline in production between the third and  second quarters of 2019, there is a sign of improvement as the current decrease is at a reduced percentage of 0.7 compared to the 4.2 percent fall between the first two quarters of the same year.

Gold production declined by 1.0 percent during the third quarter of 2019 compared to the same quarter in 2018. 

The quarter-on-quarter analysis reflects a decrease of 2.9 percent during the third quarter of 2019  compared to the second quarter of 2019. 

This decline was as a result of lower than expected gold recoveries from the ore. 

Soda Ash production decreased by 20.5 percent during the third quarter of 2019, compared to  the same quarter of the previous year. 

The decrease in production can be  attributable to the inefficiency of the plant to operate at full  capacity during the course of the year. 

On the other hand, the  quarter-on-quarter analysis shows that production increased by 49.2  percent during the period under review. 

The increase is a results of the  need for stockpiling in order to avoid commodity shortfalls that may be realised during the shutdown period.

Salt production declined by 17.2 percent during the third quarter of 2019  compared to the same quarter in 2018. 

The quarter-on-quarter comparison shows a decline of 0.2 percent during the third quarter of 2019 compared  to the preceding quarter. 

Coal production dropped by 28.6 percent  during the third quarter of 2019 compared to production registered during the same quarter of the previous year, the decline is mainly as a result of low uptake by Morupule B Power station which has resumed remedial works on the boilers. 

Although production fell, it is important  to note that there was no shortfall in supply of coal due to stockpiling undertaken during the previous months. 

The quarter-on-quarter comparison, likewise, reflects a decrease of 23.5 percent when compared to the preceding quarter. 

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.

 

 

KO/as/APA

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