The coal mineral is not necessarily a dirty resource at it has been reported with concerns that it responsible for pollution. This is according to speakers who presented on the resource during the Botswana Resource Sector Conference (BRSC) which was held early this week. Shumba Energy chairman, Alan Clegg said coal can also be green as these days technology is available that can reduce emissions from the mineral. Several countries are turning to green energy and said to be abandoning coal as a source of energy. But, according to Clegg, renewable energy agenda is not for Africa but for developed countries, noting it is important to find a balance in which one operates. Clegg said the focus should therefore be on pollution, not on carbon dioxide and said technology is available. One challenge that the coal industry is said to be going through, according to Clegg, is that there is a disconnection in mine finding. He said most financial institutions do not really care about funding the industry. Clegg said mining is a long term industry and therefore the vision has to be a long-term one.
Frazer Tabeart, Managing Director of African Energy shared Clegg’s sentiments on industry funding, particularly coal. Tabeart said coal prospects are increasingly becoming more difficult to fund and said development banks have totally discontinued funding coal. Not only has funding through debt decreased or in some cases totally stopped, but there has also been a decrease in equity finance too, according to industry players. When officially opening the conference on Monday, which was the 14th edition, the Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, Sadique Kebonang said government was reviewing legislation and policies on mining and exploration with such amendments meant to among others create funds for mines rehabilitation.