Mmegi Online :: State minerals company takes off
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Last Updated
Wednesday 22 November 2017, 18:39 pm.
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State minerals company takes off

Government has appointed a chief executive officer for Minerals Development Company Botswana (MDCB) whose first assignment would be to transfer the assets of Morupule Coal Mine (MCM) and BCL to the state minerals company.
By Staff Writer Tue 08 Mar 2016, 18:00 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: State minerals company takes off








MDCB board member, Mmetla Masire told the media last week that the new CEO, Paul Smith, started work in February and his immediate task was to work hand in glove with BCL management to oversee a process of streamlining the mine’s operations. Masire said MDCB came into being in August last year to help government manage all its assets in the mines such as those in Debswana, BCL and others.

“What has been happening is that the sourcing of the CEO took place in February and his first task is to continue the asset transfer, which we had already started,” he said. “We have engaged consultants to see how best to deliver the shares because there are cost implications. The first asset is Morupule Coal Mine and BCL. At BCL, his task is also to optimise operations.”

Addressing parliament last week, Minerals, Energy and Water Resources minister, Kitso Mokaila said his ministry has engaged consultants to provide transactional advisory services for the transfer of these assets, which he added was expected to be completed before the end of the second quarter of 2016.

The Debswana Diamond Company owns MCM, a joint venture between De Beers and government.

Mokaila noted that the transfer of the remaining assets namely; Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTCB), Debswana Diamond Company and Botswana Ash would follow

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immediately after the completion of the transfer of the first batch of assets.

“The process of capacitating MDCB to start managing government’s shareholdings in mining companies is ongoing,” he said.

Mokaila said the establishment of the Botswana Geoscience Institute (BGI) was under way. The Department of Geological Survey transformed into Botswana Geoscience Institute in December last year and the chief executive officer was appointed in January 2016.

“Preparations for the development of permanent structures of the BGI are ongoing. Recruitment and redeployment of staff will follow after the completion of the structures,” he said.

Mokaila said some laws pertaining to the mineral sector were under review and that they are at different stages of drafting. He said the draft Mines and Minerals Bill was being finalised by Attorney General’s Chambers. The Precious and Semi-Precious Stones Bill and the Diamond Cutting Bill were published in the Government Gazette in July 2015. A stakeholder workshop to get feedback from the industry was held in August 2015.

He said the Explosives Act was amended to enhance its effectiveness, stating that initial consultations were conducted in the northern part of the country in November last year, through a workshop that solicited input from stakeholders. The second leg of the consultations would be held in the southern part of the country this month.

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