In Africa, coal production is dominated by South Africa, followed distantly by Mozambique. Botswana wants to increase production to diversify its mining sector and its economy, which currently relies heavily on diamonds.
Coal production in Botswana is expected to reach 4 million tonnes in 2025, up from 3 million tonnes in 2021. This is one of the forecasts of the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its Coal 2022 report.
The institution attributes this growth to the Botswana government's efforts to diversify the local mining sector, which relies heavily on diamond extraction. Projects with a combined potential production capacity of at least 10 million tonnes per year are in various stages of development.
As a reminder, several African countries remain committed to exploiting their coal resources, despite calls from environmental organizations to abandon the world's most polluting fossil fuel. In addition to depending on coal for their electricity supply, these countries see coal as an important source of export income.
According to IEA forecasts, demand for coal will remain strong until 2025, with global consumption of more than 8 billion tons, compared to 7.5 billion in 2020. In 2022, for example, Europe has turned to South Africa to offset reducing supplies of Russian gas and coal, while the EU continues to pressure the Rainbow Nation to reduce its fuel-related activities.