Botswana’s 100% privately owned mining company Lucara Botswana is keen on promoting sustainable mining in the country in an effort to diversify the economy by courting Canadian investors.
The company brought Botswana economic stakeholders together with one of the world’s best chamber of commerce – the Canada-Africa Chamber of Business to dialogue – in a virtual conference this week.
The Managing Director for Lucara Botswana Naseem Lahri said the company is fully committed to enhancing sustainable mining by striking strategic partnerships to boost the economy.
Giving a keynote address during the Canada-Africa Accelerating Conference, Lahri said Lucara is keen to assist the government’s economic diversification efforts to reduce reliance on minerals.
According to Lahri, sustainable mining is not all about mining resources but it should also entail investments that will be felt by the communities that mines are situated in.
“Canada is very strategic partner that should be brought on board by luring the Canadian investments or companies to Botswana. They could be critical in helping in the diversification of our economy. Botswana is one of top 6 economies in Africa and is friendly to investors,” she said.
Oozing with confidence, Lahri also informed the Canada-Chamber of Business that the company through its returns from Karowe mine in Boteti aims to empower Batswana.
She noted that Lucara will commit five (5) percent gross of the proceeds from selling polished Sewelo diamond to be channeled into its Corporate Social Investments initiatives at Letlhakane region.
Lucara recently sealed a lucrative partnership with prominent French-based fashion house and luxury Retail Company, Louis Vuitton for the cutting and polishing of the 1,758 carat diamond. Furthermore, Lahri said as part of unlocking investments and economic growth, the company will continue to strive to mine large gems, noting that Constellation stone is worth $63 million.
Some of CSI projects that are underway includes the building of a stadium at Letlhakane that commenced in January with ground breaking and plans are also afoot to build a school as well.
She underscored the need for a vigorous collaboration, continuous consultation commitment by all communities, local authorities and government to unlock economic growth.
The Chairman if Canada-Africa Chamber of Business Sebastian Spio-Garbhrah said the chamber is committed to partnering with Botswana with Canadian businesses mulling to setup in Botswana.
He said the Chamber is keen to assist Africa to fully achieve a continental free trade area, adding that the majority of Canadian businesses in Africa are in mining hence need to diversify investments.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, Lefoko Moagi said government’s partnership with international mining investors was key for growth.
He said diversification of minerals exploration away from diamonds is very important, adding that government is tapping into Coal bed Methane (CBM) as the next mining growth area.
Minister Moagi said there are more mineral exploration opportunities broadening in CBM space and urged investors from Canada to consider Botswana as investment destination as they expand. Africa Accelerating 2020 was a three-day virtual conference staged in Gaborone and Toronto – capital city of Canada – with its discussions centred on Africa’s economic potential for growth.