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Botswana should look beyond diamonds, says local geoscience institute

09 june 2018
Botswana Geoscience Institute said there is need for the southern African nation to look beyond diamonds.
Botswana relied on diamonds for almost a fifth of its gross domestic product and the gemstones were expected to dwindle over the next 20 years.
“In order to increase the mineral asset value, it is necessary to look into mining other mineral commodities that are present in Botswana,” said the institute’s mineral accounts officer, Dineo Sefemo, at the Botswana Resource Sector conference in Gaborone.
The country had coal, copper, nickel deposits, among other commodities.
Sefemo said diamonds contributed to the highest value of the country’s mineral assets by 97 percent, followed by soda ash just above 2 percent and gold less than 1 percent.
She also said beneficiation was an engine for economic growth, employment creation and provide skills transfer, which consequently improve mineral asset value on the improved value chain.
“The majority of Botswana’s minerals are exported in unprocessed or semi-processed form,” she said.
“A gradual move along the value chain has been made on diamonds where rough diamonds are sorted, cut, polished and valued in Botswana. There is some jewellery production.”

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished, from Gaborone, Botswana


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