Botash look to diversify

Christinah Motlhabane

Hungry to make the most of their salt, Botswana Ash (Botash) are hunting new ways to further diversify its product range.

On top of the core salt and soda ash the mine is famous for, Botash are keen to start producing: Sodium Sulphate, Sulphate of Potash and Sodium Bicarbonate.

Speaking at a media engagement session held at the Sua Pan facility last week, Botash Managing Director (MD) Kangangwani Phatshwane revealed all three projects were in the pipeline.

Although he did not go into detail as to how much progress has been made, Phatshwane admitted it will be a while before they start generating any revenue.

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“One of the products proven to be feasible is Sodium Bicarbonate which is also known as bicarbonate of soda (baking soda). It will be used to cook okra, baking and cleaning,” said Botash boss.

Sulphate of Potash is commonly used in fertilizers, providing both potassium and sulfur.

“It will go into high value crops like grapes, high value vegetables and tobacco,” he explained.

The last emerging product is Sodium Sulphate, used to manufacture detergents and glass.

In another exciting development for the mine, Phatshwane revealed their salt, ‘Botsalt’ will soon be sold in Sefalana and Shoprite. Currently, it’s only available in Choppies.

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“We also do the packaging and branding for Choppies’ in-house salts. With Sefalana, we want to reach smaller rural centers because they have got wider reach as a wholesale. At Shoprite, we want the product to be more readily available across the retail chains. That is where our interest is. Sefalana have authorized their listed salt, and it is just a logical issue waiting for the orders to start coming in. I believe Shoprite is still finalising the listing and as soon as they are done, we can take it from there,” he said.

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