India’s Jindal Steel & Power (JSPL) is reportedly planning to commence construction on a coal mine in the south-eastern Mmamabula coalfields in Botswana in 2022.

This mine is expected to help the firm in supplying a proposed coal power plant and the export market, reported Reuters citing a company official.

The proposed mine is anticipated to have an annual production capacity of 4.5 million tonnes of coal.

Jindal Botswana country head Neeraj Saxena was reported by the news agency as saying: “Work will start next year and develop in phases over two to three years. Regional demand is increasing and the South African market has an appetite for Botswana coal.”

Botswana is still looking to develop its estimated 212 billion tonnes of coal resources, contrary to the growing trend of relinquishing fossil fuels.

Earlier this month at the COP26 climate conference, the government agreed to the global pledge of reducing coal consumption.

The country, however, withdrew from the commitment to end granting new coal mining licences.

Over the next 20 years, Botswana has pledged to raise renewable energy share in its electricity from the existing 2% to 18%.

Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported that Debswana Diamond is set to invest $6bn to build an underground diamond mine at Jwaneng, Botswana.

The mine is expected to have a production capacity of as much as nine million carats (Mct) per year, with full production anticipated by 2034.