A future lined in diamonds.At Botswana's independence in 1966, mining activities were limited and the economy was overwhelmingly dependent on cattle-rearing for beef production.
But the economy has been transformed beyond recognition by the development of diamond mines - first at Orapa and Letlhakane in the 1970s and then at Jwaneng a decade later - by South Africa's De Beers group. Mining revenue has since buoyed the economy in ways beef could never have done.
For example, In 1994, out of a total $1.58bn export earnings, minerals contributed a huge $1.46bn, with 95% coming from diamond sales alone. Botswana's balance of payments have remained strongly positive over the past decade, and accumulated foreign reserves totalling $4.5bn at the end of 1994 provide two years import coverage.
The mining industry is Botswana's biggest private sector employer with some 13,000 employees, and it normally contributes one third of the country's GDP GDP (guanosine diphosphate): see guanine. .
The Government and De Beers are joint owners joint owners npl → copropietarios mpl of De Beers Botswana mining company (Debswana) and the 1994/95 fiscal year saw mineral taxes and royalties (98% from Debswana) forecast at a record Pula Pula (p`lä), Ital. Pola, city (1991 pop. 62,378), W Croatia, on the Adriatic and at the southern tip of the Istrian peninsula. 2.1 bn, just over 40.% of total budget revenue.
De Beers' sister company, the Anglo American Corporation, is also the Government's partner in Botswana's other large-scale mining operations, the Selebi-Phikwe copper/nickel/cobalt mine and the Sua Pan soda ash/salt complex.
Reserves at Botswana's three diamond mines will last until the mid-21 century; their life could be even further extended by moving mining operations underground.
Jwaneng contains the richest deposits with an average gem content of 35%, compared to 15% at Orapa. In 1993 it produced 8.5m carats at a recovery rate of 147 carats per 100 tons, over half Debswana's output of 14.7m carats.
Overall production was reduced by 8% in line with the weaker global diamond market and held steady in 1994.
But production is set to rise substantially this year with the completion of a fourth stream addition to the existing Jwaneng plant. This will increase throughput tonnage by about 25%, adding about 1.5m carats to Debswana's production capacityity. However, exports may continue to be constrained pending a full recovery of demand on the global market.
Cutting and polishing
In 1994 total sales of rough diamonds through De Beer's Central Selling Organisation (CSO (Chief Security Officer) The person in charge of all staff members who are responsible for promulgating, enforcing and administering security policies for all systems within an enterprise or division. ) fell by just under 3% to $4.25m. A further easing in the quota on producer export sales, currently 85% of normal contracted deliveries to the CSO, will only occur if unofficial sales of Russian stones are halted or sizably reduced, and stronger demand in the major cutting centres emerges.
Botswana also now operates two diamond cutting and polishing factories. A first was opened in Serowe by a Debswana subsidiary in 1992 and the following year the US company Lazare Kaplan International Lazare Kaplan International Inc. (LKI) is a diamond manufacturing and distribution company based in New York City. The Chairman of the Board of Directors is Maurice Tempelsman. Business activities (LKI LKI Labor Für Künstliche Intelligenz (Hamburg)
LKI Labor für Kuenstliche Intelligenz
LKI Last Known Information (Magic: The Gathering)
LKI Landmark Kilometre Inventory ) opened a factory in Molepolole, in which the Government has a 15% stake. The diamonds worked are not from Botswana's own mine output; stones at Serowe are purchased from the CSO while the LKI plant utilises gems which would otherwise be worked in Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (pwār`tō rē`kō), island (2005 est. pop. 3,917,000), 3,508 sq mi (9,086 sq km), West Indies, c.1,000 mi (1,610 km) SE of Miami, Fla. .
It is likely that further commercially viable diamond pipes will eventually be located, although prospecting is hampered by the Kalahari sand, and calcrete layer which covers much of Botswana. This means standard geophysical exploration techniques cannot normally be used.
In addition to Debswana and Anglo American, several smaller firms are investigating areas with known kimberlite kimberlite: see diamond.
or blue ground
Dark, heavy, often fragmented igneous rock that may contain diamonds in the rock matrix. potential, some in the vicinity of Jwaneng. Canada's Botswana Diamondfields Inc was to spend $1.4m on exploring four licence areas in 1994, and began drilling six targets on its Makgadikgadi licence area earlier this year.
Botswana has been less fortunate in non-diamond mineral production at the Selebi-Phikwe and Sua Pan mines, near Francistown in the northeast. These contain high quality mineral deposits, their financial viability has been adversely affected by persistently depressed prices. 1993 saw Selebi-Phikwe's overall loss increase to P656m, despite a 4% increase in matte output to 38,000 tons. Its accumulated debt now exceeds P2bn.
But a fifth debt rescheduling agreement was concluded at the end of 1993, and the Government and Anglo American have acquired a 30% stake, held by the US mining company Amax Inc in Botswana Roan roan
a coat color consisting of a relatively uniform mixture of white and colored hairs, giving a 'silvered' hue; self-describing colors are red-roan, blue-roan, chestnut roan. Selection Trust (BRST BRST Breeder Reactor Seismic Technology ), whose subsidiary BCL BCL - The successor to Atlas Commercial Language.
["The Provisional BCL Manual", D. Hendry, U London 1966]. operates the mine.
The upturn in copper and nickel prices eased financial pressures during 1994; and BCL hopes to avoid any further call on emergency funding provided by its shareholders, or the need for new debt rescheduling.
If metal prices make a sustained recovery, several other copper prospects could be developed. Selebi-Phikwe itself has reserves of 92m tons and a projected mine life until AD 2008.
Anglo American is currently evaluating the large Phoenix depose To make a deposition; to give evidence in the shape of a deposition; to make statements that are written down and sworn to; to give testimony that is reduced to writing by a duly qualified officer and sworn to by the deponent. nearby, and small amounts of ore from the adjoining Selkirk mine are toll-smelted by BCL. Canada's Falconbridge has a mining lease over the Thakada/Makala copper deposits in the northwest, and is to decide shortly whether to develop a mining operation there.
Since the Sua Pan brine brine
a salt solution used in the curing of meat. Standard ingredients are sodium chloride (15 to 30%) and sodium nitrate (0.15 to 1.50%) but many other ingredients may be added for special effects.
see artemia. deposits at Makgadikgadi were brought into production by Soda Ash soda ash: see sodium carbonate. Botswana (SAB) in 1991, competing US synthetic soda ash suppliers to South Africa South Africa, Afrikaans Suid-Afrika, officially Republic of South Africa, republic (2005 est. pop. 44,344,000), 471,442 sq mi (1,221,037 sq km), S Africa. have cut prices sharply to protect their market share. This has impacted negatively on SAB's finances, and while sales have diversified Botswana's export earnings, it is, unlikely that revenues will enable the $500bn development cost to be recouped until the end of the century. Production is, running a less than half of installed capacity; in 1993 output was 126,000 tons (full capacity 300,000 tons) and 93,800 tons (650,000 tons) of soda ash and salt respectively.
Coal is the most important of the other currently-mined products, with substantial unexplored potential; proven reserves in the Morupule and Mmamabula bituminous coal bituminous coal: see coal.
or soft coal
Most abundant form of coal. It is dark brown to black and has a relatively high heat value. fields in the east total 17bn tons.
There is only one operating colliery at Palapye, but its capacity has been expanded to 1m tons per year, to supply the Selebi-Phikwe mine, thermal power stations A thermal power station comprises all of the equipment and systems required to produce electricity by using a steam generating boiler fired with fossil fuels or biofuels to drive an electrical generator. and most recently the Sua Pan complex.
Small amounts of gold are produced in the Francistown area, mainly from old mine workings. Bullion output increased with the recommissioning at the end of 1991 of the Monarch mine by Mining and Development (Botswana), the only one in regular operation.
A small manganese mine near Kanyewas reopened in 1992 but operations were suspended in November 1993 due to poor ore quality. However, mining of semiprecious stones, mainly pink carnelians and agates, rose sharply in 1993 to 39 tons, with the installation of a processing plant at Pilane by Agate Botswana. The stones are being cut and polished mainly for export.