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Botswana’s Mining Sector Promising Despite G7 Sanctions

BOTSWANA’S Minister of Minerals and Energy, Lefoko Moagi, has highlighted the promising opportunities in the country’s mining sector despite the challenges posed by Group of Seven (G7) sanctions. Speaking at the Future of Mining Summit in Gaborone on Wednesday, Moagi addressed the impact of the sanctions related to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The G7 sanctions, effective from March 1, 2024, require Russian diamonds of 1 carat polished or 2 carat rough and above to be G7-certified before being sold to G7 countries. From September 1, 2024, this certification requirement extends to diamonds of 0.5 carat polished or 1 carat rough and above from all diamond-producing countries.

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‘This will put a lot of pressure on Botswana and other producing countries,’ Moagi stated at the two-day forum. He noted that the sanctions would result in additional costs and longer shipping times for non-Russian diamonds, potentially leading to unintended consequences due to increased costs and delays.

Moagi also expressed concerns about the limitations of tracing and provenance technologies, which may not be scalable globally to meet the G7 timelines.

Despite these constraints, Moagi emphasised that Botswana’s mining sector continues to offer significant opportunities. ‘Notable developments have been visible in the diamond and, lately, copper sectors, which will play a significant role in job creation and economic growth opportunities in the medium and long term,’ he declared.

To ensure sustainability in the mineral sector, Botswana has recently established three companies focused on mineral exploration and investment both domestically and internationally. These efforts aim to bolster the country’s mining industry and promote long-term economic growth.

Moagi’s remarks underscore the resilience and potential of Botswana’s mining sector, even as it navigates the complexities introduced by international sanctions.

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