【Ferro-alloys.com】A senior official of the Botswana government said on Tuesday that as the country seeks to diversify the mining of resources other than diamonds, Botswana has launched its first iron ore mining project.
Last year, with the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis, the country’s heavy dependence on diamonds was exposed. Diamonds accounted for one-fifth of Botswana’s GDP and more than two-thirds of its foreign exchange earnings.
The new crown virus has suppressed the demand for diamonds and lowered the price of diamonds. The country's economy has shrunk by nearly 8%; however, the country has achieved up to 4% growth before the outbreak.
Since then, Botswana has been trying to exploit its rich natural resources by issuing mining licenses to commodities such as coal, copper and iron ore.
Ikongwe, a subsidiary of India’s Yashomann Industries, recently received a license to develop the project.
“The mine is also considering processing some discarded mining materials for local steel production,” said Lefoko Moagi, Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security. “This will revitalize the local steel industry. "
Chetan Patil, director of the mine development company Visionridge, told Reuters on Tuesday that the mine will produce 1 million tons of iron ore per year within 10 years, with an iron ore content of up to 65%. , Commonly known as 65% iron.
Anything with an iron content of more than 60% is considered a good material for steelmaking.
Patil said: "Due to the general upsurge in the international market, we will target the export market, but we also plan to establish a pig iron plant in Botswana."
In the past year, as China's steel production accounted for more than half of the world's steel production and strong demand, the price of iron ore of various grades soared to a historical high of about US$240 per ton.