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Puma Energy Chief Operating Officer for Africa, Jonathan Molapo says the company still considers mining industry as an important part of its portfolio despite headwinds faced by the sector. Speaking at a press briefing on Thursday, Molapo said the company has a strong portfolio which includes aviation and bitumen and is able to cover the shortfall occasioned by the mining industry. Puma, which supplies services to local mining companies including Debswana, has had to deal with the frustrations of seeing its clients wind up business. The company was one those owed by the liquidated Mowana Copper Mine which was operated by African Copper.
Recently one of its major clients, BCL Mine, was put under provisional liquidation. Molapo was however not in a position to reveal how much BCL owed to them, citing confidentiality between them and their clients. Molapo said they are not worried by the events taking place in the mining industry as the sector remains important to the company, adding that mineral resources prices are cyclic and unfortunately at the moment are at the lower level of the cycle. “We will continue to be in the mining industry; we have a five-year contract with Debswana and it is very important to us,” Molapo said.
He said they are looking to grow the business to include restaurants and grow the aviation portfolio. He said they will also be strengthening their retail department by adding more service stations, probably four or five in the coming year. The petroleum company currently enjoys a 28 market share in Botswana. Molapo said their focus is on a long-term view.