- Coal output up 37.8% in Q4 2022
- Gold down for 6th consecutive quarter
Figures in the Index of Physical Mining of Production of the fourth quarter of 2022 released by Statistics Botswana (SB) show that coal production shot up by 38.7 percent while Gold continues to contract deeply.
The stats show that the coal production increase of 37.8 percent is significant growth of 181,730 tonnes from 469,481 tonnes during the fourth quarter of 2021, to 651,211 tonnes in current reporting quarter (Q4 of 2022).
“On the other hand, quarter-on-quarter comparison shows that coal production decreased by 1.7 percent (11,051 tonnes) from 662,262 tonnes during the third quarter of 2022,” say the SB report. The increase in coal production will ensure that the state-owned coal miner, Morupule Coal Mine (MCM), boasts of large tonnes in its reserves that could position Botswana to export large volumes.
Speaking recently in Gaborone at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between MCM and Letshego to facilitate the miner’s Citizen Economic Empowerment Programme (CEEP), the CEO of MCM Edwin Elias said global demand for coal is high. Elias noted that there has been shortage with 40 million tonnes being demanded in Europe.
Meanwhile, the SB report indicates that gold production decreased for the sixth successive quarter. Gold realised a decline of 36.8 percent (42 kilograms) from 113 kilograms during the fourth quarter of 2021 to 71 kilograms during the fourth quarter of 2022. Similarly, the report says a quarter-on-quarter analysis reflects a decrease of 14.1 percent (12 kilograms) from 83 kilograms during the third quarter of 2022 to 71 kilograms in the quarter under review.
“The decrease was as a result of closure of other satellite deposits which affected contractors’ production performance, thereby leading to lower production,” says the report. Further, the report notes that soda ash production decreased by 1.4 percent (940 tonnes) from 67, 043 tonnes during the fourth quarter of 2021 to 66,103 tonnes produced during the period under review. “Similarly, the quarter-on-quarter analysis shows a decrease of 19.6 percent (16, 121 tonnes) during the fourth quarter of 2022, from 82, 224 tonnes in the third quarter of 2022,” says the report.
On the other hand, silver production increased by 174.3 percent (6,321 kilograms) from 3,626 kilograms during the fourth quarter of 2021 to 9,947 kilograms during the period under review. The quarter-on-quarter analysis shows that production increased by 16.9 percent (1, 440 kilograms) during the fourth quarter of 2022 compared to 8,507 kilograms produced during the third quarter of 2022. According to Statistics Botswana, the increase was mainly due to efficiency of the machinery coupled with strong demand for the commodity in the international market.