Botswana’s president says mining sector to shrink by practically 1 / 4 in 2020

Botswana’s President mentioned its mining business is anticipated to shrink by practically 1 / 4 this yr, earlier than bouncing again to development in 2021 because the diamond market picks up and manufacturing begins at a brand new copper mine.

The mining sector, which supplies a fifth of the nation’s GDP and 80% of overseas change earnings, is seen contracting by 24.5% in 2020, President Mokgweetsi Masisi mentioned in the course of the state of the nation handle on Monday.

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Botswana closed its borders in March to curb the unfold of the coronavirus, locking out worldwide consumers from centres corresponding to Mumbai, Antwerp and China who often journey to Gaborone ten occasions a yr to view and purchase diamonds from De Beers.

Diamond exports from the world’s second-biggest producer dropped 42% to $1.49 billion within the first 9 months of this yr as manufacturing fell 29% to 12.three million carats.

The mining sector ought to bounce again to development of 14.four% subsequent yr, Masisi mentioned.

“The diamond markets in the USA, China and Europe are starting to indicate signal of restoration and are anticipated to stabilise by December 2020,” mentioned Masisi.

The Khoemacau copper mine is anticipated to be commissioned within the first quarter of 2021 and the enlargement of the Morupule Coal Mine is anticipated to supply a further a million tonnes every year of coal by September 2021, mentioned Masisi.

The president mentioned the southern African nation would start to open its borders in a phased method in a bid to spice up an financial system damage closely by the pandemic, with actual GDP forecast to contract eight.9% in 2020.