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Debeers anticipates positive outlook for 2018

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Jwaneng’s first ore from Cut-8 which was processed last year June is expected to become the mine’s main source of ore during 2018, enough to produce up to 91 million carats of diamond. Speaking at the recent Financial Overview for 2017 in Gaborone last week, the Executive Vice President of Global Sightholder Sales at DeBeers, Paul Rowley said the year is for the undertaking as they have set a production target of as high as 36-million carats for 2018. In its 2017 results announcement the Anglo American subsidiary reported a production guidance of 34-million carats to 36-million carats, which compares with 33.45-million carats produced in 2017. “Improving global macroeconomic conditions remain supportive of consumer demand growth for polished diamonds in 2018,” Rowley said, although it noted that the degree of global economic growth would be dependent on a number of factors, including the extent of the positive impact on consumer spending growth from US tax cuts.

The miner reported a two percent improvement in its underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (Ebitda) to $1.44-billion in 2017, despite a lower revenue of $5.8-billion following the one-off industry midstream restocking in 2016. This performance, the company noted, was driven by improved margins, which benefited from lower unit costs, which were supported by higher production and efficiency drives across the business, a strong contribution from Canada, and Element Six, which benefited from a recovery in oil and gas markets. However, this was partly offset by unfavourable exchange rates, and an increasing proportion of waste mining costs being expensed rather than capitalised, owing to an improved strip ratio at Venetia, in South Africa. Total revenue declined by four percent to $5.8-billion, with the average realised rough diamond price decreasing by 13 percent to $162/ct mainly owing to a lower value mix.

This was partly offset by an eight percent increase in consolidated sales volumes to 32.5-million carats. Capital expenditure reduced by 48 percent to $273-million, owing to the completion of major projects, including Gahcho Kué, in Canada, Debmarine Namibia’s new exploration and sampling vessel, the SS Nujoma; and planned lower waste capitalisation at Venetia. In terms of production, most regions registered positive margins of growth; Botswana (Debswana) increased production by 11 percent to 22.7-million carats, with production at Orapa being 28 percent higher, mainly driven by planned increases in plant performance and the ramp-up of Plant 1.

In Namibia (Namdeb Holdings), production increased by 15 percent to 1.8-million carats. At Namdeb’s land operations, production rose by six percent, despite challenging conditions, including grade variability owing to the nature of alluvial deposits, structural cost pressures, and some operations nearing the end of their lives. In South Africa, De Beers Consolidated Mines increased production by 23 percent to 5.2 million carats, primarily owing to Venetia. Construction continues on the Venetia Underground mine, which is expected to become the mine’s principal source of production during 2023.

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Matambo calls on financial sector to pick GDP

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Finance Minister, kenneth Matambo

Finance Minister Kenneth Matambo has announced that government is committed to support financial service sector to prop up the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Currently contributing over 13 percent to GDP, Matambo said the sector has potential to increase its share. “Hence government’s interest in the sector,” said Matambo addressing delegates at the inaugural Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL), Global Financial Summit.

The country has built a strong, resilient and fast growing financial sector underpinned by a robust regulatory framework. The finance minister who is expected to step down next year, noted that government’s commitment to the financial service sector has this year been buttressed by a number of laws passed in July relating to money laundering activities.

In addition, Matambo said the continued investment in the development of information, communication and technologies (ICTs) backbone infrastructure is also to support local banks’ rising appetite for online services.

The Minister said the country remains committed to maintaining micro-economic stability to spur private sector participation in the economy. “Our vision is to become a high income country by 2036,” said Matambo, challenging the private sector to step forward and help government to develop the country, bemoaning the low levels of financial inclusion and shallow domestic capital markets.

He said the private sector should come up with more initiatives to develop further the local capital markets. The Minister’s sentiments were also shared by Martin Davies, Managing Director for Emerging Markets and Africa at Deloitte who has challenged the country to start dealing with its low manufacturing value add.

“How do we start to diversify beyond the single commodity economy,” quizzed Davies, adding that manufacturing increase is vital for low inequality across the country.

“Inequality results in bad public policy, as the state starts to believe and think they have to intervene more,” said Davies, highlighting that the country needs to move away from the absolute concept of state drive growth. Meanwhile, minister Matambo has applauded the private sector for leading economic dialogue in the country through events such as the BIHL Global Finance Summit.

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First Lady advises women entrepreneurs

Keikantse Lesemela

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First lady, Neo Masisi

First Lady, Neo Masisi has urged women entrepreneurs to bring change in the economic development of the country and the rest of Africa.

Speaking during the Lioness Lean in Africa breakfast on Friday, Masisi said women entrepreneurs are remarkable engines of economic growth and job creation. “I believe women entrepreneurs hold incredible potential and credentials on the continent because Africa has the highest percentage of women entrepreneurs in the world.

It is projected that millions of much needed jobs will be created over the next decade and these will be created predominantly through small businesses which are mostly run by women,” said Masisi.She highlighted that women entrepreneurs are also the most powerful engine for equitably distributing growth and they are also solutions for addressing inequality on the continent.

“It is a proven fact that for many generations, women understand the simple concept of barter and commerce. These are the role models of our past and our present and they will continue to inspire new generations to do more for business to grow,” she said.

The Lioness Lean In Breakfast Series brings together inspirational and successful women entrepreneurs to share, inspire and connect with the next generation of great women-led start-ups.

The platform is based on a breakfast networking and speaker presentation format, which has been organized in locations across the African continent for the past year by Lionesses of Africa, empowering over one million women entrepreneurs across the continent.

Stanbic Bank Botswana Head of Personal Markets, Omphemetse Dube said they are pleased to bring the Lionesses of Africa Lean In platform to Botswana once again to bring together women entrepreneurs in the country and help to nurture their growth further.

“Botswana is blessed with a number of thriving female entrepreneurs, and the potential for the next generation of talent is strong. Platforms such as this are therefore paramount in growing the cause and we as a bank are proud to help champion that movement further,” said Dube.

Founder and CEO of Lionesses of Africa,Melanie Hawken noted that Gaborone is a growing and exciting centre for women’s entrepreneurship in Africa. “This is a must-attend event for women entrepreneurs in the country as it gives them the opportunity to hear the inspiring entrepreneurial stories of women who are building great businesses here,” she said.

The annual Lionesses of Africa event allows entrepreneurs to benefit from the insights and advice of women entrepreneurs who have seen and experienced it all and to also provide an excellent opportunity for networking.

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