Home » Botswana’s Green Energy Revolution: How Manganese Could Power the Future

Botswana’s Green Energy Revolution: How Manganese Could Power the Future

A project funded by South Africa’s IDC will test a new technology that extracts high-purity manganese sulfate from low-grade manganese oxide ore in Botswana.

by Motoni Olodun

Botswana is poised to become a major player in the global green energy transition, thanks to a pioneering project that aims to produce battery-grade manganese from its abundant mineral resources.

Manganese is a key ingredient in lithium-ion batteries, which are used to power electric vehicles, smartphones, laptops, and other devices. Demand for manganese is expected to surge in the coming years, as more countries adopt policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote clean energy.

However, most of the world’s manganese supply comes from South Africa, China, and Australia, where it is processed using fossil fuels and chemicals, resulting in high environmental and social costs. Moreover, the quality of the manganese ore is often low, requiring further refining and purification.

That’s where Botswana’s K.Hill project comes in. The project, owned by Canada-based Giyani Metals, plans to use a proprietary hydrometallurgical process that extracts high-purity manganese sulfate from low-grade manganese oxide ore, without generating any harmful waste or emissions.

The project has received $ 16 million worth of funding from South Africa’s State-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), which supports regional development and innovation in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

The IDC’s investment will be used to build a demonstration plant in Johannesburg, South Africa, where the technology will be tested and validated. The plant will also produce samples of battery-grade manganese for potential customers and partners, such as battery manufacturers and electric vehicle makers.

The demonstration plant is expected to be operational by the end of 2024 and will pave the way for the construction of a commercial-scale plant in Botswana, which will have an annual production capacity of 70,000 t to 80,000 t of manganese sulfate.

According to Giyani Metals CEO Danny Keating, the project will not only create jobs and revenue for Botswana but also help the country diversify its economy and reduce its dependence on diamond mining, which accounts for about 80% of its exports.

“Botswana has a vision to become a green energy hub in Africa, and we are proud to be part of that vision,” Keating said. “Our project will provide a sustainable and competitive source of manganese for the battery industry, and contribute to the global efforts to combat climate change.”

The project has also received support from the Botswana government, which has granted it a special economic zone status, allowing it to enjoy tax incentives and other benefits. In addition, Giyani Metals plans to list on the Botswana Stock Exchange, to help the country develop its capital market and attract more investors.

The K.Hill project is one of several initiatives that are transforming Botswana’s energy landscape. The country is also developing solar and wind power projects, as well as exploring the potential of hydrogen and other green fuels.

Botswana’s Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, Lefoko Moagi, said the country is committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, and to becoming a leader in green energy in Africa and beyond.

“We have abundant natural resources, a stable political and regulatory environment, and a skilled and educated workforce,” Moagi said. “We are ready to seize the opportunities that the green energy transition offers, and to partner with local and international stakeholders who share our vision.”

Source: Mining Weekly


You may also like

Leave a Comment

The African Miner is the vanguard of the mining industry, delivering world-class insight and news.

Latest Stories

© 2024 The African Miner. All Rights Reserved.