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Glass Sector

BottlesThe Department of Geological Surveys, through their geophysical surveys identified a number of raw materials necessary for glass manufacturing in Botswana. Silica sand which is the main raw material for glass making is available in Maunatlala, Mmamabula/Capricon and near Tumasera. The quality of this resource is good and within stipulated requirements for glass manufacturing. Although not mined yet, the government, through the Mining Policy encourages investment in this sector for competitive returns while maximizing the benefits of the nation. Limestone has also been discovered as a bedded sedimentary deposit consisting chiefly of the mineral calcite. Botswana has abundant limestone deposits particularly in Naka-la-Phala and Makoro.

Another important raw material is soda ash, which is also available and mined in Botswana. Botash Company mines the product in Sowa Town and sells both regionally and internationally. Production of soda ash increased from 190 489 tonnes in 2000 to 235 000 and 264 000 tonnes in 2003 and 2004, respectively. Monthly production has been estimated at around 24 000 tonnes. Other raw materials necessary for glass include feldspar which is also available in Botswana. There has also been an increase in quarrying fro sand, also a raw material for glass, due to the heavy demand in the construction industry. The latter also inevitably leads to the demand for industrial glass. Quality glass can be competitively manufactured locally and be able to penetrate the regional and international markets.

Glass Production

World demand for flat glass is projected to grow by 5.3% per year through 2010 to 6.1 billion square meters. Production of flat glass is forecast to increase by 5.5% per year through 2010 to 56.6 million metric tones, of which approximately 45-50 million metric tones will be high quality float glass. The remainder will consist of low quality float glass. The demand is fuelled by demand for building and automotive glass which is in turn fuelled by economic growth.

Download sector brochure here (PDF).

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