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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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BSE upgrades online investor access

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A recent BSE opening bell function.

Botswana Stock Exchange Limited (BSEL) will this year introduce a new clearing and settlement system, as part of efforts to improve operations of the bourse.

Speaking at the seventh opening bell ceremony, Chief Executive Officer, Thapelo Tsheole said the development will help improve liquidity and risk management. In addition, the new settlement system replaces the 2008 system while fast tracking introduction of security borrowing and lending, management settlement guarantee fund, as well as identifiers for companies and instrument.

BSEL has already awarded a contract to a Swedish company to implement the system which is also expected to digitalize Initial Public Offering (IPO), allow electronic voting for listed companies during annual general meetings (AGM) for absent shareholders.

The project, which is expected to take eight months once the two parties sign the deal, is part of efforts to have more online investors access for BSEL. Tsheole also revealed that BSEL website will undergo a revamp this year, allowing it to be more analytic, live feed shares, as they trade.“The tender is already out for the website and mobile application. It is a project that we had hoped to implement last year but because of logistic problems, we could not do it,” said Tsheole.

BSEL further plans to introduce two data display screens at CBD and at the stock exchange.“These will assist with information sharing and keep the market updated,” said Tsheole. Meanwhile, BSEL will not change its Automated Trading System (ATS) until 2022, according to Tsheole.“The system supports our strategy to grow the market and increase the average daily turnover levels to 18.0million per day by 2021,” said Tsheole.

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BSE complies with reporting guidelines

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Botswana Stock Exchange Limited (BSEL) has become the 5th bourse in Africa to comply and publish Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting guidelines.

The development comes a year after BSEL became a partner exchange of the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchange (SSE) Initiative.“The BSE made a commitment to publish guidance on ESG Reporting. This commitment has been fulfilled.“

We are the 42nd among the 81 SSE Partner Exchanges globally and the 5th in Africa to do this,” said Kgotla Segwe, Market Development Specialist at Botswana Stock Exchange Limited.
Other stock exchanges that have complied with the SSE initiative on the continent are from South Africa, Nigeria, Morocco and Egypt.

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