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Koobonye Ramokopelwa



Rough diamond producer, Debswana has awarded Majwe Mining a multi-billion Pula tender for the company’s Cut 9 project which is expected to lengthen Jwaneng mine’s lifespan by a further 15 years, The Midweek Sun has learnt.

Debswana has made it known that investment in the project clearly shows commitment in the local diamond industry. Cut 9 comes hot on the heels of Cut 8 which also extended Jwaneng mine lifespan. Chairman of Debswana board of directors, Bruce Cleaver said the fresh capital injection into Jwaneng mine, the world’s number one rough diamond mine by value, could not have come at a better time where demand is poised to surpass supply.

“The extension of Jwaneng Mine secures Botswana’s rightful place as a leading diamond producing nation for years to come. With global consumer demand for diamonds reaching record levels in 2018, the extension will enable us to continue to meet the needs of our consumers all over the world. We are deeply proud of the central role Jwaneng Mine has played in Botswana’s remarkable development story and of the role this investment will play in its future,” said an excited Cleaver, also De Beers Chief Executive.

The project which is expected to commence anytime soon, following the 2019 budget will create more than 1,000 jobs at its peak, the majority of which will be held by Batswana. The project will cost a whopping P15, 7 billion. Debswana Managing Director, Albert Milton who is the immediate Jwaneng Mine Chief noted that they have always delivered safe projects which benefits locals.

“We are also committed to delivering on the Citizen Economic Empowerment (CEE) goals and will focus on training our people, developing their skills and harnessing technology to create further safety and efficiency improvements,” added Milton, who has been with Debswana for decades. Debswana is a joint venture between De Beers and Botswana government. During the course of the contract, there will be the establishment of an Apprentice and Artisan Training Centre in addition to a Component Rebuild Centre, which is expected to mature into a self-sustaining business within three years from the launch of the project.

Jwaneng is Debswana’s biggest mine by any measure. When updating stakeholders last Friday, Milton said as a result of a surge in diamond demand, the group also increased its production by 6 percent year on year to stand at 24.1 million carats.

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Minister Thapelo Olopeng

Botswana Stock Exchange’s annual finance and investment competition for secondary school students has been applauded by the Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Thapelo Olopeng.

The initiative, a capital market awareness tool that has been running for the past seven years, is increasing financial literacy and a culture of investment among young people. The initiative will see the country raise future billionaires through the stock markets. “It is a breath of fresh air to have tertiary students who are financially literate, who can manage their finances,” said the minister.

He urged students to invest even the smallest allowances they earn and have a hassle-free life after university. “Investing on the stock exchange is not only preserved for the rich, but for anyone with a bank account,” said Olopeng.

The minister said the secondary schools finance and investment competition is participation of the private sector in bridging the knowledge divide.Olopeng said the private sector participation augments his ministry’s efforts of providing and building knowledge and innovation through the development and implementation of the policy on tertiary education, research, science and technology to transform the economy from a resource based to a knowledge based.

“In this connection, we will continue to empower our students in order for them to lead better and successful lives which can propel them into the innovation ecosystem,” said Olopeng. BSE Chief Executive Officer, Thapelo Tsheole said the Senior Secondary Schools Finance and Investment Competition, first established in 2013 aims to sensitise and educate the student community about capital markets, with the strategic aim to increase financial literacy and promote a culture of investing at a young age.

The competition is open to all senior secondary schools across the country, including private and public senior secondary schools.

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The MidweekSun Admin



Orapa Mine, part of Debswana

Botswana is not using diamonds to kill elephants as alleged by some conservationists after the southern African country announced plans to lift a ban on elephant hunting to address growing conflict between humans and wildlife, a government official has said.

Minister of mineral resources, Green technology and energy security Eric Molale told a mining conference in Gaborone on Monday that the activists were tarnishing the image of Botswana. “That’s hogwash because we as Botswana are [good] conservationists and it is us who worked hard to make sure these elephants [are] brought to the numbers that we do have now,” he said.

“When conflicts arise, it is through consultation, [that we] find out how we can best manage our resources. The people have spoken and we are going to be managing the elephants in the best way that we can.

“We are not culling, we have re-introduced the trophy hunting and if you take 400 elephants per annum for trophy hunting against the 3-5% annual growth rate of the elephant herd that we have…[we are] just barely scratching on the surface.”

Botswana has about 130 000 elephants, the world’s largest population.Molale said Botswana will remain focused on things that are beneficial to the country and will not be distracted by issues spread by people that are not even privy to how things are done in the country.

“We have, however, invited them to come and learn more about what we are doing so they can better understand those important aspects of flora and fauna…”The conflict between humans and elephants had gone up since the ban was introduced in 2014.

Tourism is the second source of foreign income in Botswana after diamonds and conservationists fear that the former will be affected is the government cull elephant.
[Rough and Polished]

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