President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has assured the Khoemacau Copper Mining investors of the government’s unqualified support in view of the multiple benefits the Khoemacau Mine is set to have for the mine, its employees, Ngamiland region and the country at large.
The president was speaking last week at the groundbreaking and opening ceremony of the 4-billion Pula Khoemacau Copper Mining. The project is expected to create an average of 1,663 jobs per year, a welcome development for the Ngamiland area and its people.
“In addition to job creation opportunities, other related and ancillary infrastructure will emerge from the project. These include roads, electricity, telecommunications, fibre optic networks, Wi-Fi, security services, growth points in the form of infrastructure, health facilities, water, lodges, tourism services, market for goods and services for SMMEs in the region and many others,” President Masisi said.
The government can reportedly expect an estimated 10-billion Pula over the mine’s twenty-two year operational life from 2021 – 2042. Dr Masisi said the revenue generated would comprise direct and induced impacts on the economy, with an estimated tax revenue of about 700-million Pula . Additionally, he noted that the mine would breathe new life into the Ngamiland region and the country at large. He noted that it was gratifying to witness the copper mine transitioning from being a project to a fully-fledged production company.
The mine was given impetus by the purchase of Boseto Mine from Discovery Copper Botswana in 2015 to provide a blend between a greenfield Zone 5 mine and a brownfield Boseto Processing Plant. It’s been revealed the mine will acquire its first concentrate production and export during the second quarter of 2021.
President Masisi learnt that the mine had committed initial capital expenditure of over P4 billion to be spent between 2018 and 2021 to develop the necessary infrastructure required to operate it. He said the investment bore testimony to the country’s foreign direct investment attractiveness as well as a clear expression of confidence in the government.
He said the massive project would yield financial and employment benefits from both the developmental and operating phases. The project is expected to create approximately 1,200 jobs during the first phase and 1,663 jobs on average per year as well as 883 direct jobs.
“An economic activity of this magnitude will, therefore, go a long way in reducing poverty for many of the communities in this area. Therefore, the opening of this mine could not have come at a more appropriate time,” he said.
The president said the government had put in place policies aimed at improving the ease of doing business in the country and in that respect, would facilitate Khoemacau mine to ensure that the project is a success. He also said the future looked bright for copper mining as the global forecasts indicate that global demand for copper is expected to exceed supply by mid-2020. He said this was because there is an upsurge growth from the power and utilities sector especially in China, India and other Asian nations.
For his part, the mine Chief Executive Officer, John Ferreira assured the government that community upliftment is at the core of their business ethic and thanked the Botswana Government for “creating an environment that attracts investors.” The ground-breaking ceremony was graced by cabinet ministers and senior Government officials.