Debswana jittery on global economy

Wednesday, 12 April 2017
Debswana jittery on global economy

Debswana mining company has indicated that global trading conditions continue to be uncertain. In resposne to Botswana Guardian inquiry this week on the possible implications of the Dineo Cyclone which hit the country in recent months, Debswana Corporate Affairs Manager, Matshidiso Kamona said Debswana did not experience any adverse effects of the Dineo Cyclone.

“We have contingency plans to keep our operations going in the event of adverse weather conditions,” she said. This publication has however gathered that Debswana mines stock pile ore outside the pit so that production will not be affected if the pit is unaccessible due to any natural disasters such as flooding. Meanwhile, Kamona indicated that global growth in 2017 will depend on several macro-economic factors including the economic policy of the new administration in the US, the impact of the demonetisation policy in India and the economic performance of China. “As part of Debswana’s flexibility and agility approach, management is progressing plans to ensure that the company is well positioned to respond favourably to the market upturn,” she said.

Anglo American group financial report for the year ended 31st December 2016, has indicated that Debswana maintained production at close to the previous year’s levels, with output of 20.5 million carats compared to 20.4 million carats in 2015. Jwaneng’s production increased by 23 percent; driven by higher tonnes treated, largely offset by Orapa, where production was 20 percent lower. By year end, 85 percent of the 500 million tonnes of waste stripping required to expose the ore had been mined at Jwaneng Cut-8.
The report shows that the first Cut-8 ore to the processing plant is scheduled for the first half of 2017, with Cut-8 becoming the main source of ore from 2018. Damtshaa (a satellite operation of Orapa) was placed on temporary care and maintenance from 1 January 2016.

For the financial year 2016/17, Debswana maintained production to close the 2016 full year reporting period at 20.5 million carats against 20.4 million carats in 2015. Asked what the production for the last quarter of 2016 and their anticipation for the 2017 first quarter going Kamona answered that at the end of the 2016 last quarter, Debswana produced a total of 5,4 million carats, whilst first quarter of 2017 results are yet to be released. Debswana currently operates from its Jwaneng, Orapa-Letlhakane mines, whilst Damtshaa Mine remains on a three-year care and maintenance programme from January 2016 as part of the company’s response to the 2015 market downturn.

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