Coal output drops

Belly of the beast: Morupule.Coal Mine is the country's oldest and largest colliery PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Belly of the beast: Morupule.Coal Mine is the country's oldest and largest colliery PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO

The country’s coal production fell 16% year-on-year in 2023 to 2.06 million tonnes, as local collieries contended with a drop in prices as well as tightening logistical issues in the region.

The country’s two coal producers, Morupule Coal Mine and Minergy Limited, hit production peaks in 2022 when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and subsequent sanctions on Moscow, triggered an energy crisis in Europe and Asia. The two collieries were even able to export coal out of Africa for the first time, using both the Maputo and Durban rail routes and securing contracts in Europe.

However, from those heights, coal prices have cooled as the energy crisis has eased, while logistical challenges, particularly around Transnet in South Africa, have largely curtailed the seaborne export route. The developments have forced the collieries to focus their attention on the South African inland market, where competition is tight as producers in that country also similar target consumers there.


Bank of Botswana figures show that local production reached 2.46 million tonnes in 2022, the second highest production in a decade, output dropped last year as the collieries contended with reduced prices and the logistical challenges. Coal prices in 2022 peaked at about $400 per tonne and today are averaging about $100 per tonne.

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