GABORONE, June 7 (Xinhua) -- Botswana on Thursday announced plans to bring before parliament the country's new minerals policy for approval.
Eric Molale, minister of mineral resources, green technology and energy security of Botswana, said the policy is to ensure that the country becomes investors' destination of choice.
"This is a policy that we have taken the past three years working on, and whose aim is to improve the investment climate in the minerals sector," said Molale addressing miners at the annual Botswana Resource Sector Conference, which closed on Thursday in Gaborone, capital of Botswana.
Molale said the policy has taken into account the prevailing conditions in the minerals industry.
In addition, Molale said the country has completed legislative amendments to the Mines and Minerals Act, Precious and Semi Precious Stones Act and Diamond Cutting Act also expected before parliament before end of this year.
"It is our belief that the proposed amendments to these legislative instruments will improve the ease of doing business," said Molale.
Miners have complained about the red tapes that Botswana's mining industry has faced, despite the sector's huge potential.
"Botswana's Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) is hostile to investment in this country," said Andre Boje, Chief Executive Officer of Minergy, a coal miner, adding that it has taken the company more than the standard 12 months to get their EIA approved, ahead of getting license.
Botswana's coal resource monetization remains as the country's area of focus in line with the already set coal roadmap.
The government has viewed the development of this commodity as a key step to driving employment creation and diversifying the mining sector," said Molale.