Botswana will be represented at the upcoming Mining Indaba Virtual event with President Mokgweetsi Masisi set to deliver his presidential keynote address.At this stage four countries – including Botswana – will be represented at the virtual conference. Presidents from South Africa, Sierra Leone and the DRC have been confirmed for Mining Indaba Virtual. The virtual event is scheduled to take place on 2-3 February 2021. The mining sector continues to be seen as the backbone of Botswana’s economy, and one of the largest contributors to gross domestic product, with minerals comprising almost 80% of export earnings. Over the years, Botswana has received widespread praise for the way in which it has converted mineral rents to fiscal revenues – combined with sound economic policies, these have helped build infrastructure and kept the economy stable.
In 2018, Botswana was the world’s second largest diamond producer by value and volume, however there are significant investment opportunities in expansion and development of the country’s coal, coal bed methane, uranium, gold and silver as well.Building into the overall theme of Mining Indaba Virtual, geared towards building resilience and regrowth, helping to adopt a new mindset for African Mining, Masisi is expected to address Botswana’s mining sector development including: progress on production and volumes in diamonds, gold, copper, coal, and iron ore; new diamond and copper licensing opportunities for explorers and junior miners; developments of infrastructure in Botswana’s Western corridor to stimulate international investment; and safeguarding investors through transparency and sustainable fiscal regimes. Botswana is currently looking to expand its renewable energy generation up to 15% by the end of this decade, but given its coal reserves and the fact that it imports approx. 50% of energy from neighbouring countries it will remain focused on domestic fossil fuels development, with coal on track to contribute 300 MW of new generation capacity and coalbed methane (CBM) providing 250 MW.