Diamond mining still leading the way for Botswana’s economy

Mining has dominated Botswana’s economy since 1972. Today there are more than $10 billion of mining projects in Botswana.

Mining has dominated Botswana’s economy since gem-quality diamond production began in 1972, projecting the country to the world’s leading diamond producer by value.

Copper, gold, nickel and soda ash production play a smaller economic role, with the whole industry accounting for around 40% of Botswana’s gross domestic product.

Currently, Debswana Diamond Company, the joint venture between De Beers and the Botswanan government, has $10.5 billion in projects either in the study, planning, construction or awarded stages, the largest one valued at $6.4 billion alone. Debswana is the world’s leading diamond producer by value and operates Orapa, Letlhakane, Damtshaa and Jwaneng mines.

Another $1 billion has been awarded to Tshukudu Botswana Metals, Tshukudu Minerals and ADP Kukama, while the joint venture will be involved in another upcoming investment worth $1.2 billion. There are further ongoing investments worth $2.2 billion, of which Debswana accounts for half.

Botswana reflects a middle-road preparedness on the public-private partnership (PPP) infrastructure development benchmark with an overall ABiQ PPP rating of 5.63/10. This rating is an assessment of the country’s regulatory and institutional framework governing PPPs. For example, the existence of specific laws, the role of the PPP units and the ministry of finance.

While procurement for selecting a private partner is 6.3/10 and contract management 6.7/10, unsolicited proposals only score the median and preparation 4.5/10.

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