The future of Botswana’s mining sector hangs in the balance as eight mines were closed since 2010 and shed more than 7000 jobs in the process, according to a report compiled by the Ministry of Mineral Resources.With a population of less than 2 million, the number of jobs lost in the last seven years is said to be something of a great concern. Botswana is depended on the mining sector and it earns the bulk of its revenue from the same sector.
According to the Minister of Minerals, Sadique Kebonang, some of the mines are still placed under liquidation while others have been reopened. While Kebonang would not say how many out of the 7593 people who had lost their jobs since 2010 were absorbed when some mines were reopened, he said job losses due to closures was a burden to the country’s ailing economy.
Mowana Copper Mine which was owned by Messina Copper Botswana was liquidated and closed in 2015 and shed 500 jobs. Kebonang said futures plans for the mine is that it was transferred to a company called Leboam Holdings and resumed operation on April 2017.
Another mine called Boseto owned by Discovery Metals Limited was closed in December 2014. He said the mine has since sold to a company called Khoemacau in 2015. Kimberly Diamonds saw its Lerala Mine being closed and placed under maintenance care in April 2017. Liquidation process for this mine is ongoing and 151 jobs have since been lost he said.
Kebonang said Tati Nickel Mine owned by BCL Group of Companies was placed under liquidation in October 2016 resulting 764 jobs being lost while another mine owned by the same company called BCL mine was also placed under liquidation and shed 5134 jobs.
The minister further stated that BK11 Diamond Mine owned by Monak Ventures was closed in 2012 and 165 employees lost their jobs while Ghagood Diamond Mine owned by Gem Diamonds Botswana closed in March 2017 and 263 jobs were lost in the process. Damtshaa Mine owned by Debswana closed in 2015 and reopened in October 2017 did not have shed jobs as its employees were transferred to other mines owned by the same company.