Mozambique’s flag has been tagged among the major players in Southern Africa’s domestic and export coal makert.

Botswana’s minerals minister said South Africa, Mozambique and Botswana will lead the bloc’s coal industry, at the recent IHS Markit South African Coal Export Conference, in Cape Town.

Kebonang new coal export rules, as well as a specific government focus on investment and infrastructure are providing new life and growth ahead of this market, particularly in Botswana.

“The government of Botswana’s approach to the monetisation of a coal reserve, as well as the drive towards diversifying the mining sector, with specific reference to coal, is to focus on the domestic use and export of coal, as well as the generation of electricity for domestic users,” Kebonang said.

The minister said Botswana “offers an attractive value proposition” to meet demand in Africa and, in particular, for many inland users in South Africa, as there are electricity consumer markets in North West and in the Northern Cape.

Botswana is endowed with significant coal reserves estimated at up to 200-billion tonnes.

In 2017, industry analyst BMI Research, a Fitch Group company, forecast that “the country’s coal output will increase from 2.3-million tons in 2017 to 3.8-million tons by 2021, with the sector’s share of total mining industry value growing from an estimated 2.6% in 2012 to 6.9% by 2021”, Mining Weekly reported.

Kebonang also pointed to the country as having one of the best investment climates, particularly in terms of mining, citing the country’s partnership with De Beers, which spans almost 50 years, as a key example. The security of investments, political stability and a functional judicial system are further advantages, he enthused.