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Naledi aiming to diversify

Baitshepi Sekgweng
COMMITTED: Bokang Thitoyamore

Company’s sole business comes from debswana

Debswana’s subsidiary, Naledi Mining Services, is strategically expanding its operations to foster growth and enhance revenue streams.

In just ten months since its inception, the company has assumed a significant responsibility: the mining of Debswana Jwaneng Mine Cut 9, a project valued at $2 billion. This responsibility was passed on from Majwe Mining, whose contract was terminated in 2021.

Originally, Majwe Mining, a joint venture between Thiess of Australia and Bothakga Burrows, held the mining contract for Cut 9. Following the termination, Naledi, driven by the commitment to localize mining operations, was entrusted with the job. Consequently, Naledi has become responsible for both mining and engineering works during the Cut 9 project.

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While benefiting from the localization initiative within Debswana, Naledi is actively seeking to broaden its business scope. The company aims to secure contracts from local mining operations beyond its current Debswana involvement and even explore opportunities beyond national borders to diversify its operations.

Explaining the rationale behind this strategic move, Naledi Senior Manager Bokang Thitoyamore highlighted the significance of Cut 9 to the country’s economic landscape. He emphasized the need to channel the benefits, especially given that 70 percent of profits from Cut 9 were previously beyond their control.

This realization prompted the establishment of a subsidiary company focused on providing labour services and gradually assuming mining operations from Debswana.

The current revenue of Naledi stands at approximately P300 million per annum, with an ambitious target to escalate this figure to P1 billion by 2026. To achieve this, the company plans to engage in collaborations with local companies, fostering mutual growth and contributing to the advancement of mining services in the country.

Naledi’s unique approach involves the provision of labour services, a critical component that requires specialized skills. While currently utilizing labour broking for smaller-scale operations, the company acknowledges the need for enhanced skills development, especially in light of the magnitude of the Cut 9 project. “We have a lot of technical, production and safety skills down the pit so it’s more or less like running a mine on its own. One key thing about us is that 95 percent of our revenue goes to salaries and benefits for employees so we not chasing profits, we are trying to put that into our employees such that they revive the economies in places around,” said Thitoyamore emphasizing that they are robust and intentional on improving socio-economic development.

Currently in a transitional phase towards gaining independence from Debswana, Naledi has emerged as a significant employer, with over 1000 employees, making it the second-highest direct employer in the mining sector after Debswana.

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Looking ahead, Naledi aims to leverage Botswana’s reputation for skilled mining and explore avenues for aggressively exporting these skills. The company envisions creating numerous opportunities for graduates and unemployed individuals, contributing to a more promising future. Unlike Debswana’s profit-centric approach, Naledi’s purpose is rooted in creating limitless possibilities and opportunities for the betterment of tomorrow.

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