Botswana, which generates most of its revenue from mining (mainly diamond mining activity), experienced a 27.1% reduction in mining production in the fourth quarter of 2020, in comparison with the same period in 2019. This is based on recent key data released by Statistics Botswana (SB).
Commenting on the statistics, the Statistician General, Dr Burton Mguni, said the reduction in the fourth quarter of 2020 mining production was 64%, while at the same time the previous year it was 91.1%.
Statistics Botswana attributed the sharp drop in the mining activity mainly due to reduction in diamond production, which contributed a negative 23.7 percent. Growth in soda ash and salt (0.1 percentage point) was way too marginal to offset the trend. Notable growth has been registered in gold.
In general, the decrease in mining production registered during the course of the year was a result of lockdowns implemented to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the course of 2020.
Further, Statistics Botswana paints a picture of a vital sector in steady contraction. Botswana’s mining production has been decreasing at an average rate of 3.8 percent per annum during the last ten years, observed the report.
Botswana has been struggling to diversify from dependency of its mining production on diamonds, which the country’s top economists have warned in recent years that is dicey, dependent on mood swings of the global economy.