Botswana's first private coal mine to produce saleable coal in March

Botswana's first privately owned coal mine will produce its first saleable coal in March, the chief executive of the company overseeing the project told Reuters.

The Masama Coal Mine aims to produce 1.2 million tonnes per annum of coal and will target the South African market as well as other countries in the region, Minergy Chief Executive Andre Boje said.

"We should ramp up to the nameplate volume of 300,000 tonnes per month by June/July 2019. Our target market is the southern African region at 1.2 million tons per annum, using a combination of road and rail transport," Boje added.

The open cast mine and associated coal wash plant is located 60 km (37 miles) northwest of Botswana's capital Gaborone and is being developed at a cost of 400 million pula ($39 million).

The Masama mine is estimated to hold 390 million tonnes of coal reserves.

($1 = 10.3627 pulas)

(By Brian Benza; Editing by James Macharia)