Renewed exploration interest in the Kalahari Copper Belt, in Botswana, can help the country diversify its mining economy and industrialise, says mining consulting services provider MSA Group principal consultant Mike Robertson.
He emphasises that diamond mining has been the mainstay of Botswana’s economy since the first diamonds were discovered there in 1966, averaging 75% of the country’s exports. Botswana is second only to Russia, globally in terms of rough diamond production.
The country’s diamond industry is also characterised by high diamond quality, high production volumes and, particularly in the past few years, large diamond sizes.
“Falling demand and prices, however, coupled with the historic economic reliance on the industry, has prompted diversification away from diamonds to other commodities. These includes coal, soda ash, manganese, natural gas and, particularly, copper.”
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