MAUN: Khoemacau Copper Mining will double the capacity of the Boseto Mine processing plant to enable it to produce upto 10,000 tonnes of ore daily at both Boseto and the new Zone 5 mine.
Khoemacau’s environment and community relations superintendent, Herbert Kebafetotse told the media during a wellness day at Somelo that the expansion is part of their plans to start operations at the new mine.
He said the upgrade is to enable the plant to process high grade copper ore from Zone 5 mine near Somelo, which is located about 30 kilometres from the Boseto mine.
Khoemacau recently acquired the Boseto Mine and other associated assets from the liquidated Discovery Metals Limited (DML.)
The company has announced that Zone 5 mine, whose contruction is expected to begin next year, will be given a new name. The company has opened a competition for primary schools in the area to come up with a suitable name for the mine.
The Zone 5 mine is expected to produce 50,000 tonnes of copper and 1.8 million ounces of silver per annum.
Both the new mine at Somelo and Boseto are expected to employ 800 people at full production.
Kebafetotse said they are undertaking a feasibility study for the setup of a road network linking Zone 5 and Boseto Mine.
He confirmed that they are also considering the use of rail transportation to move the ore from Zone 5 to the Boseto plant.
On water supply, Kebafetotse said they have sunk boreholes at Makgalong along the river to connect Zone 5 with water. Of concern that they may face water shortages, he said they may in fact, have surplus water supply from the Makgalong water scheme.
It is estimated that Khoemacau will spend more than P40 million monthly on diesel for power generation at the two mines. At the time Boseto was in operation, DML spent more than P26 million on power generation at Boseto.
Kebafetotse revealed that they have finished compensating owners of the three affected cattle ranches taken over for the setup of the Zone 5 mine.
Affected farmer, Galemidiwe Basentse told Mmegi Business that he was paid P4 million in compensation by the mine for his farm.
Basentse, who said he rears cattle for sale to the Botswana Meat Commission, said he has moved his business to a communal area at Somelo.
Kebafetotse said they are making follow ups on compensated farmers to help them prudently spend the funds.
He also explained that under their social action plan, they intend to help develop businesses in Somelo through capacitation and funding initiatives.
“Somelo is a small community and people have no buying power, so we plan to equip businesses here with skills to access the outside markets,” he said.
He added that from January up to-date, they have already engaged 50 people on part-time basis employment at their site.