Botswana: Opportunities Abound In Glass Sector

Botswana is endowed with natural resources that can be transformed into a permanent flow of income such as silica sands, limestone and soda ash.

Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority (BEDIA) annual report for the year 2006/2007 says the country exports dense soda ash to South African glass manufacturers.

Soda ash is another major ingredient in glass production as it helps to lower melting temperatures.

BEDIA carried a study on glass and glass related products with the aim of conducting an assessment and location as well as quantity of the raw materials.

Apart from soda ash, which is abundant in Sua Pan, the study identified Mmamabula sands that are suitable for float glass manufacturing, says the report.

The study says the Mmamabula sands deposit is estimated to be 13 million tonnes and that the sands are consistent in their grain size distribution and more than 85 per cent of the sands lie within the normal range.

The report says in general Mmamabula sands can be made suitable for use in most types of glass except for the highest quality colourless glassware.

Another find, says the BEDIA annual report, is Samedupe silica sands deposit 10 km east of Maun village that are said to be part of fluvial deposit of the Okavango delta system along the Boteti river.

The Samedupe sands have similar characteristics with the Mmamabula and have an excellent grading with 95 per cent falling within the required range after washing, say the report.

Samedupe silica sands deposits have indicated reserves of about 5.5 million tonnes while Tumasera silica sand deposits have indicated reserves of around 4,7million tonnes.

The report says the study concluded that given the raw material that Botswana has and the beneficiation process that can be employed to meet higher specification requirements, there are opportunities identified in the production of float glass, container glass, fibreglass and the processing of silica sands.

600450 Botswana: Opportunities Abound In Glass Sector

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