Jindal Steel and Power Limited of India is reportedly ready to begin construction of a coal operation in the southeastern Mmamabula coalfields in Botswana next year.
Jindal Botswana country head Neeraj Saxena told Reuters that work will begin in 2022 and be done in phases over the coming two to three years.
The miner’s goal is to supply the export market as well as a planned power plant project. The mine could produce 4.5 million tonnes annually.
“Regional demand is increasing, and the South African market has appetite for Botswana coal,” Saxena added in an interview with the wire service.
During the recent COP26 conference in Glasgow, Botswana reportedly committed to reducing coal use, but did not pledge to stop issuing new coal operating licences.
In fact, Botswana shortlisted Jindal, Minergy, African Energy Resources and Maatla Resources in April under a tender for the construction of a 300-megawatt coal-fired power plant. Maatla has since withdrawn citing funding and other reasons, Reuters said.