Botswana Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security Minister Sadique Kebonang. Photo by Martin CreamerGABORONE – The government is determined to better its legislative framework and policies to ensure the country becomes investor friendly, against a backdrop of collapsed foreign direct investment (FDI).
Delivering the keynote address at the Botswana Resource Sector Conference, Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security Minister Sadique Kebonang said the government’s minerals sector strategy and policy continue to take into account prevailing industry conditions.
Econsult MD and former deputy governor of the Bank of Botswana, Keith Jefferis, said, in response to a question on why FDI into Botswana had collapsed, that the Botswana government had done some things that had really turned FDI away.
Jefferis said that, whereas Botswana was once very friendly to foreign investment, there were many aspects of the environment now that were quite discouraging of foreign investment. Even with FDI dropping in mining in general because of various other obstacles, FDI had not flowed into other sectors.
“It’s an issue of things going on,” Jefferis commented at the conference attended by Mining Weekly Online.
The Minister told the conference that proposed changes to the Mines and Minerals Act, the Precious and Semi Precious Stones Act and the Diamond Cutting Act would be discussed during the next parliamentary sitting in July.
Amendments were being proposed relating to the setting up of mine closure funds for rehabilitation, the pursuit of citizen economic empowerment initiatives, safe use of explosives and increased penalties to deter illegal activity in the diamonds sector.
These would be tabled during next month’s sitting of Parliament.
A request for proposals (RFP) would close on July 12 for owners of coalbed methane (CBM) prospecting licences to develop a 100 MW CBM pilot power plant.
Gabaake told the conference that a proof-of-concept power project would be submitted and that Tlou would be partnered by Independent Power Corporation, with an option to take up to 50% of the downstream part of the project.
He made the point that Tlou did not frack but drills horizontally in the coal for a kilometre to allow the gas to dissolve into the holes.
The company is hoping to get power from its Lesedi CBM project into the grid in the second half of 2019.
Providing the transmission lines is seen to be the responsibility of the government.
Source: Mining Weekly