Khoemacau expansion beneficial

23 Nov 2023

Industry players have heaped praises on a bold move that has resulted in the 100% acquisition of Khoemacau Copper Mine by the Hong Kong-listed MMG Group. 

MMG, a mid-tier global resources company that mines, explores, and develops base metal projects around the world, is geared towards bringing in total citizen beneficiation alongside its operations. 

At a media briefing in Gaborone on Wednesday, Mr Nan Wang, the Executive General Manager of Australia and Africa at the MMG Group vowed to continue sharing their success with communities they operate in by providing informal opportunities. 

Mr Nan said they targeted investing in training and education for future generations by helping Batswana to gain valuable and transferable skills. He said he appreciated the forging ties with Khoemacau to build opportunities for future generations, communities, and shareholders. 

Mr Nan said MMG has an overall local employment workforce of more than 90 per cent, 98 per cent in Peru, 94 per cent in the DRC, and 93 per cent in Australia; a consistent pattern that compares to Khoemacau's current status in local empowerment. 

Mr Nan said part of the benefits included the expansion of annual production capacity of almost 60, 000 tonnes of copper and to around 150 000 tonnes as enshrined in their expansion strategy.  

He said Khoemacau has an initial mine life of 27 years and has significant potential for expansion beyond its existing mineral resource base of 450 tonnes at 1.4 percent copper and 18 grams per tonne of silver. 

The Chief Executive Officer of Khoemacau Copper Mine, Mr Johan Ferreira, said MMG has extensive operating project delivery expertise on underground and open pit mining operations in various jurisdictions. 

Mr Ferreira said the group was committed to the highest standards of safety, responsibility, and sustainability across all its operations, noting that it was consistent with Khoemacau's prioritisation of sustainability, with a particular focus on safety, health, community, and the environment. 

He said the transition would be of great benefit to Botswana as more revenue would accumulate through royalties, taxes, and economic activities that would accrue between them and potential suppliers, and employees. He said MMG would also bring to the fore expertise to sustainable mining, one aspect which involves new technologies and best practices in the mining industry, which a lot of companies globally were moving towards. 

The Executive Director at Khoemacau Mr Boikobo Paya, reiterated that the acquisition by MMG would also bring sustainability in their line of operation, citing that operations would not only focus on the resource mined but sustainability from the perspective of costs, efficiency and effectiveness. 

Mr Paya said this was what Khoemacau was based on, in terms of its strategic pillars as the only mechanised mine in Southern Africa, meant to bring in efficiency and effectiveness, therefore technology has been adopted to deal with that. 

"Success for modern mining was always going to depend on efficiencies and effectiveness, which in most cases would be driven by mechanisation, hence why Debswana and Karowe mines were going that direction."

Mr Paya said this was a new phenomenon in mining and fortunately it has come to Botswana, indicating that MMG has been operating mines across the globe using similar techniques and therefore this would bring a lot of experiential knowledge and expertise under mechanised mining, underground mining as well as backfilling. 

MMG's acquisition of Khoemacau, for more than P25 billion, is expected to close in the first half of 2024. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Marvin Motlhabane

Location : GABORONE

Event : media briefing

Date : 23 Nov 2023