Charles Interview

Charles Siwawa, CEO, Botswana Chamber of Mines

Botswana Making Progress with Infrastructure Projects

Botswana has over 202 billion tons of coal, but being a landlocked country, it will rely on the success of their infrastructure investment. Mining Resources spoke with Charles Siwawa, Chief Executive Officer, Botswana Chamber of Mines who gave an update on the major infrastructure projects and outlined how investment can be attracted. Charles gives his long term outlook for the Botswana coal industry as well as describing the trends which will shape the sector.

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Boris Kamstra, Investment Executive, Pangea Group, South Africa

The commodity sector has been hit hard, what is the long term proposition of those affected companies? How do champions respond?

a.    Firstly we need to remember that the commodity sector is cyclical, these times will pass. However generally between now and then there will have to be a few producers who capitulate and take their supply out of the market, when supply of materials has reduced sufficiently prices will start to recover.
b.   The long term proposition of those affected companies is an interesting dilemma, I suppose it all depends. For those companies who are in the lower half of the cost curve, an interim strategy of ruthless attention to costs will probably see them through and place them in a strong positon when the cycle turns.
c.     Those who have been caught in the top end of the cost curve things will be a bit trickier. A careful look at how
and where efficiencies can be improved may reveal opportunities to increase competitiveness and should be taken. If there are no options to achieve at least break even, it may be an opportunity to catch up on maintenance, exploration and preparing for when prices improve.
d.   If at all possible avoid high grading to meet current prices as this will have a material impact on the resources
that will be available to mine when the prices recover. When in a hole, for goodness sake please stop digging.

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Mazwi Tunyiswa, Head of Basic Metals and Mining SBU, Industrial Development Corporation (IDC)

The commodity sector has been hit hard, what is the long term proposition of those affected companies? How do champions respond?

Investing in the mining sector is a long term game and cyclical by its nature. If we all accept and understand this then our approach in dealing with the current economic crisis will focus on long term solutions.
i.    Companies need to conserve cash, Operating companies have to take a deep look at their cost profiles, conserve cash, consolidate projects and ride out the storm—we still have a few more years to go before the cycle will turn.  Companies with projects need to carefully monitor the economic upturn and time the development of their projects to catch the upturn
ii.    This is the time to focus on mining the most profitable assets while mothballing the ones with low or no profitability to be exploited in the future when the market allows.
iii.    And one should adopt new mining methods that yield positive results.
iv.    This is time to look at possible consolidation in some of the industries the champions should look at acquiring the struggling assets for future exploitation.

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Johny Interview

Johny Smith, CEO, Walvis Bay Corridor Group, Namibia

Accessing and Developing Namibia’s Mineral Wealth

In the 2012 and 2013 Fraser Institute Survey of Mining Companies, Namibia was ranked as the second most attractive destination for investment in the mining sector in Africa, after Botswana, which provides direct proof that the framework regulating the mining industry is conducive to investment and promoting growth. In the last two years, Namibia has posted high growth, as major advances have been made in other sectors of the economy, and as such people believe that Namibia is the right African country to invest in at this point in time. Johny Smith, Chief Executive Officer of the Walvis Bay Corridor Group unpacks Namibia’s access to its mineral wealth.

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Mashale Interview

Mashale Phumaphi, Managing Director, Shumba Resources

The Botswana Coal Investment Environment- How investments can be attracted to the coal sector 

There is a huge potential for coal usage and development in Botswana, however it needs the appropriate sustenance and investment to meet regional power needs. We spoke with Mashale Phumaphi, Managing Director at Shumba Resources about the current coal investment environment and the financing mechanisms which are available. In this Mining Resources exclusive interview Mashale also underlines the need for a detailed IPP strategy, and how investment can be attracted to the coal sector in Botswana.

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