Botswana Mining: Minerals Mined, Objectives and Benefits to Batswana

If you want to know about Botswana mining then you are going to read this page.

Here's what I’m going to share...

1. the minerals mined in Botswana

2. the benefits of mining in Botswana to the people of Botswana

3. the mining industry objectives and policies.

Let’s get right into it...

Minerals mined in Botswana

Mining in Botswana is most times associated with diamonds; however what most people don’t know is that there are several other minerals that are heavily mined in Botswana.

In this page I will be sharing some of these minerals.

Before that however, let’s talk a bit about the Diamond mining industry in Botswana.

Botswana Diamonds

The most famous Fact that people know about Botswana and diamonds is that the country is that the country is the world’s largest diamond producer by value.

Some of the less known, yet interesting facts about our diamond industry include the following:

  • Diamonds were first discovered in 1967 in the Orapa region (250km away from the City of Francistown)(that was a year after Botswana gained its Independence)
  • Diamonds are mined in four main mines operated by Debswana. These are the Orapa, Letlhakane, Jwaneng and Damtshaa mines
  • The Jwaneng mine is the world’s largest diamond producer by value
  • The piped being mined in Orapa is the second largest kimberlite pipe being mined in the world.


The Debswana Diamond Company is a company that was incorporated in 1969 to develop the Orapa mine. The company is a 50 / 50 partnership between the Botswana government and De Beers.

Interesting facts about Debswana that you might like...

  • Current mining licenses of all Debswana's diamond mines will run until the year 2029.
  • The company is the largest private sector employer.
  • Debswana is also Botswana's largest foreign exchange earner.
  • All of the four major Diamond mines (Orapa, Letlhakane, Jwaneng and Damtshaa mines) are operated by Debswana.

Diamond Trading Comapany Botswana (DTCB)

DTCB is a partnership between De Beers and the Government of Botswana.

Its aim is to sort and value the rough diamonds mined by Debswana as well to sell and market the rough diamonds to companies that have been licensed to cut and polish diamonds from Botswana by the Botswana Government.

Diamonds, The Economy and People Of Botswana

Diamonds were one of the very first minerals to be discovered in Botswana. It was only after the discovery of diamonds in 1967, a year after the country gained its independence, that the economy of the country started to improve.

Since then, Botswana diamonds have literally shaped the economy of the country and as a result improved the lives of Batswana, who continue to benefit from the foreign revenue earned through the mining of diamonds in Botswana.

Below are the other minerals mined in Botswana...


Gold mining was first done in Francistown over a century ago. In fact Francistown was the first ever town in Botswana because of the Gold deposits that were discovered in the Town.

Most of the mining activity took place during the gold rush in the 1890's and again between 1920's and 1930's.

Today Gold mining in Botswana is done at the Mupane Gold mine which is also in the Francistown region.

Copper and Nickel

I don’t know much about the copper and nickel mining in Botswana, however , I know many of my friends and cousins work at a copper and nickel mine located about 30km from Francistown along the Matsiloje road.

There are also two other mines where copper nickel is mined. One is located near Dukwi, a small village found between Francistown and Nata; the other mine is the one found in Selebe Phikwe, which was the first Copper and nickel mine in Botswana.


Coal in Botswana is currently produced in the Morupule Colliery which is located between Palapye and Serowe.

The coal is produced primarily for domestic power supply and the mining industry. In addition to that, the coal is also supplied to Zambia, Zimbabwe and the DRC.

Soda Ash and Salt

Soda Ash and Salt are both produced at Sua Pan by Botswana Ash (Pty) Ltd. Production initially started in 1991 and over the decades Botswana Ash has become one of Africa's largest producers of both soda ash and salt.

The plant has soda ash reserves that are expected to last up until the year 2080.

Benefits on Mining in Botswana

I don’t know much about the mining policies of Botswana but one thing for sure is that the country has made it a priority for its people (Batswana) to benefit from the foreign currency earned from the mining activities that take place in the country.

One of the main objectives of  Botswana mining is to improve the lives of the people of Botswana. From experience i can say that indeed this objective is being met.

The Government of Botswana sponsors thousands of students every year not only for primary and secondary education but also for tertiary education.

In addition to educations, medical services are also heavily subsidized enabling Batswana to get medical attention at really low prices at local clinics and hospitals.

Another way that mining in Botswana has been of benefit to Batswana is through employment.

Mines are labor intensive and every mine in Botswana therefore employs hundreds if not thousands of Batswana (many of which would unlikely be unemployed if they didn’t work at the mines)

These are just a few of the many benefits the mining industry has made possible.

Botswana Mining Objectives and Policies

I mentioned above that I’m not too familiar with the Botswana policies and objectives, however i did some research for you and i found the aims and objectives of the industry . Read more about it below...

"Botswana's mineral policy aims to strike a balance between maximizing economic benefits for the nation while allowing investors to earn competitive returns.

Other objectives are to encourage prospecting and new mine development, generate linkages with the rest of the economy and increase local value added.

The creation of employment and training opportunities for Batswana is also vital, as is protection of the environment."

References :

The Botswana Review 29th Edition