More in Store for Jwaneng, Orapa Mines

| December 1, 2014 | 0 Comments

Debswana envisages to undertake major diamond production projects in the next five years at Jwaneng and Orapa, which will be larger than the current P24 billion Cut 8 project in Jwaneng.

Debswana managing director, Mr Balisi Bonyongo said this at the BOCCIM dinner held in Maun. Mr Bonyongo said these projects would no doubt offer Botswana’s private sector opportunities to grow.

He said since 2008, Debswana like other companies, had operated in an environment characterised by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. Mr Bonyongo said they had moved from production levels of over 30 million carats to a range of 23 to 26 million carats a year.

These production levels, he said, came from the company’s long term strategy dubbed the resource development plan (RDP) which would see Debswana producing diamonds up to 2050. Mr Bonyongo urged BOCCIM to engage with Debswana to explore these opportunities.

“I don’t think anyone in our industry will dispute the fact that this is an exciting industry to be in. Demand for diamonds is expected to show positive real growth over the next decade. We are looking at growth of between 4 per cent and 5 per cent of polished diamonds this year, up from 3 per cent in 2013,” he said.

He said at Debswana they were able to meet the call from De Beers for extra carats earlier this year, adding that their colleagues at Diamond Trading Company (DTC) Botswana were able to implement a considerable shorting of the pipeline to release extra carats to fill a gap presented by other third party suppliers.

Mr Bonyongo also noted that the country needed to seek new engines of growth in a challenging global economic environment in order for the local firms to compete globally.

He said the country’s efforts to diversify the economy have achieved limited success with regard to exports. He added that the country’s exports were dominated by mining, specifically diamonds, which was very risky with respect to the foreign exchange reserves.

“We would only truly have reduced our dependency on a single export product when we have a diversified range of exports, and that comes with inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) and the growth of the private sector in this country,” he said.

Debswana managing director said Debswana has been part of the National Business Conference (NBC) for more than a decade noting that comes out of their conviction that private sector development was critical to economic diversification.

He said the growth of the private sector offers the greatest potential for sustainable economic diversification for this country. Mr Bonyongo said Debswana recognises this potential and remains committed to supporting the growth of the private sector in Botswana.

On average, he said, 75 per cent of Debswana’s total annual spend was with local suppliers based in Botswana. However, he said they realised that of that amount only 17 per cent represents citizen-owned businesses.

Mr Bonyongo said although this showed growth year on, they realised that they need to do more in order to help grow the local economy.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Business & Finance

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