Botswana: Masisi Opens Khoemacau Mine

Toteng — About P10 billion in revenue is expected from Khoemacau Copper Mine over its 22 year operational life from 2021-2042.

The revenue, President, Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi said during the ground breaking and official opening of the mine, comprised direct and induced impacts on the economy with estimated tax revenue of about P700 million as well as other taxes from declared profits, royalties and personal income tax.

He appreciated that the mine project was going to give a new lease of life to the Ngamiland region and the country, noting that it was gratifying to witness the copper mine transitioning from being a project to a fully-fledged production company.

The mine was given impetus by the purchase of Boseto Mine from Discovery Copper Botswana in 2015 to provide blend between a greenfield Zone 5 mine and a brownfield Boseto Processing Plant. The mine, it was stated would see its first concentrate production and export during the second quarter of 2021.

President Masisi learnt that the mine had committed an initial capital expenditure of more than P4 billion to be spent between 2018 and 2021 for developing the necessary infrastructure required to operate it.

The investment, President Masisi stated was quite significant and bore testimony to the country's attractiveness to foreign direct investment in particular as well as an explicit expression of confidence in the government.

He said from the massive project, there would be financial and employment benefits emanating from both the developmental and operating phases with the project expected to create approximately 1 200 jobs during the first phase and 1 663 jobs on average per year as well as 883 direct jobs.

In addition to job creation opportunities, President Masisi said other related and ancillary infrastructure would emerge from the project such as roads, electricity, telecommunications, fibre optic networks, WiFi, security services, growth point in the form of a township with housing infrastructure, health facilities, water, lodges and tourism services, market for goods and services for SMMEs in the region and many others.

He said the project would impact positively on rural development in an otherwise economically depressed region.

President Masisi believed the project was just the beginning of local empowerment initiatives that would be in place throughout the life of the mine.

He therefore encouraged developers and investors in the project to acquaint themselves with the local indigenous economic and cultural systems to ensure social inclusion and equality as well as cultural preservation to ensure that the trade-offs in the quest for profit and economic sustainability did not leave the indigenous communities worse off.

The North West region, he said had been badly affected by repeated interruptions to the beef industry due to Foot and Mouth Disease which disrupted the livelihoods of many households.

"An economic activity of this magnitude will therefore go a long way in reducing poverty for many of the communities in this area. Therefore the opening of this mine could not have come at a more appropriate time," he said.

President Masisi stated that the benefits from the mine were encouraging and emphasised that Khoemacau should explore value chain for beneficiation opportunities and to further refine its products to ensure maximum value was accrued in Botswana.

He said government had put in place policies aimed at improving the ease of doing business in the country and stated that in that respect, they would facilitate Khoemacau mine to ensure that the project became a success because it was in line with government's national development priorities of job creation and economic growth.

Furthermore, he said the future looked bright for copper mining as the global forecasts indicated that copper demand globally was expected to exceed supply by mid-2020s because there was a surging growth from the power and utilities sector especially in China, India and other Asian nations.

He assured the investors unqualified support in view of the multiple benefits the project would have for the mine, its employees, Ngamiland region and the country at large.

Source : BOPA

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