Top 8 Natural Resources in Botswana & Their Uses

Botswana is a country in Africa that occupies an area of about 224,610 square miles and is found on the southernmost tip of the continent.

The Botswana economy used to be among the worst in the world, with a per capita gross domestic product of about $70, especially in the 1960s.

The government of Botswana carried out some economic changes that gradually changed the nation’s economy.

The gross domestic product of Botswana in 2017 was approximately $17.41 billion, ranking it as the 112th highest in the world, and its per capita GDP was $18,146, ranking it as the 71st highest.

Minerals, arable land, and livestock are just a few of the natural resources in Botswana that are very important to their economy.

Diamond mining is responsible for roughly 70–80% of export revenue. The country’s economy is dominated by the mining industry, particularly diamond mining.

The mineral wealth of Botswana is diverse, with diamonds being the most valuable resource since their discovery in 1967.

Based on the calculated value of the recovered diamond, the Jwaneng open pit mine in the nation is regarded as the wealthiest diamond mine in the world.

Gypsum, iron, asbestos, feldspar, chromium, graphite, and manganese are examples of untapped natural deposits that are found in isolated locations and beneath the Kalahari sands.

Top 8 Natural Resources in Botswana

The following are the top natural resources in Botswana

1. Arable Land

According to data provided by the government of Botswana, the country’s arable land comprised about 0.7% of its total land area in 2015.

The majority of the population of Botswana resides in rural areas and relies heavily on agriculture for both subsistence and a living.

According to the Botswana government, the agriculture industry generally makes up about 3% of the nation’s annual gross domestic product.

Agriculture still plays a significant role in the lives of the people in Botswana, despite its small economic contribution, largely because of its cultural importance.

The eastern region of Botswana has the majority of the nation’s arable land.

The most widely grown crops in the eastern part of Botswana are sorghum, millet, and maize.

To meet the need locally, Botswana is frequently compelled to import food supplies from other nations, such as South Africa.

Numerous serious obstacles, including soil degradation, an overreliance on conventional farming practices, and ongoing droughts, threaten the Botswana agriculture sector.

The government of Botswana has allocated funds for research on soil conservation and the creation of grain varieties appropriate for the country’s climate to address these issues.

2. Livestock

Livestock is one of the most important natural resources in Botswana. Cattle are the most significant livestock in Botswana, where estimates suggest that they outnumber the population.

The government of Botswana reported that there were about 2.5 million cattle in the nation in 2011, which was more than the projected 2,024,787 people.

About 80% of the agricultural sector in the nation comes from the cattle industry. Cattle producers in Botswana produce more cattle than the country needs, and they sell the excess to other countries, primarily those in the European Union.

Diseases like foot and mouth disease are the biggest danger to the cattle business in Botswana.

The government of Botswana has given veterinarians in the nation the training they need to meet the issues facing the nation’s cattle industry.

3. Beautiful Scenery

Numerous beautiful locations in Botswana are a blessing that draws a ton of visitors there each year.

The national parks of Botswana, one of which is in the Kalahari Desert, contain some of the country’s most breathtaking sights.

Due to its size—roughly 20,400 square miles, or 10% of the state’s total land area—the Central Kalahari reserve is among the most significant in Botswana.

The reserve is particularly well-known because it contains four unique petrified rivers.

The sable antelope, white rhino, and blue wildebeest are just a few of the wildlife species that call the central Kalahari reserve home.

The Okavango Delta, which is regarded as one of Africa’s Seven Natural Wonders, is another well-known location in Botswana.

According to data, South Africa and Zimbabwe accounted for the majority of visitors to Botswana in 2016.

There were a lot of visitors from the United States as well.

4. Minerals

The mineral industry in Botswana is one of the most important ones there. Since the early 1970s, mining has been a significant part of the Botswana economy.

The nation has access to an abundance of high-quality minerals, from copper to diamonds.

According to estimates from the Botswana government, the mineral sector contributed close to 40% of the nation’s GDP in 2005.

Additionally, it was projected in 2005 that close to 85% of all exports from the nation were made up of minerals.

According to information from the mineral yearbook, the mining industry contributed around 23% of the nation’s GDP in 2014.

The mining sector in Botswana officially employed about 24,000 people, according to the country’s labor agency.

5. Copper

Copper, one of Botswana’s most valuable minerals, is mined at places like the Selebi-Phikwe mine and the Phoenix Mine.

Data shows that from 2013, when Botswana produced around 21,300 tons of smelted copper, to 2014, when it produced 14,600 tons of smelted copper, the country’s copper production considerably declined.

The Bamangwato Concessions Limited and the Tati Nickel Mining Company, among others, were active in copper mining in Botswana.

6. Gold

One of the most significant minerals in Botswana during the colonial era is gold. One of the first places in Botswana where sizable gold reserves were found was the Taiti Goldfield.

To benefit from the substantial gold reserves, several businesses were established in Botswana, but by 2014, only one, Galane Gold Limited, was engaged in large-scale gold mining.

In 2014, Botswana produced about 2,112 pounds of gold, which was less than the 2,659 pounds produced in 2013.

7. Diamond

The $70 million Lesedi la Rona diamond, which was discovered in Botswana, is currently up for auction.

Due to the financial value, they add to the gross domestic product of Botswana, diamonds are the most significant mineral there.

According to estimates, Botswana produced rough diamonds worth about $4 billion in 2014.

Before they were polished, the majority of Botswana’s raw diamonds were exported to foreign countries.

According to estimates from the Botswana government, rough diamond exports from the country were close to $7 billion in 2014.

In Botswana, there are several significant diamond mines, including the Orapa Mine, the Jwaneng Mine, and the Damtshaa Mine.

8. Fossil Fuels

The Mmamabula coal resource and power plant have been the subject of mining operations by Fossil Fuels CIC Energy Corp.

According to the deposit, there is 2,800 Mt of coal. India’s JSW Energy Ltd. made an outrageous $414 million bid to buy the entire company’s stock in 2010.

The principal product of the Australian company African Energy Resources Ltd.’s Sese project in northeastern Botswana is uranium.

Following the discovery of a near-surface secondary uranium mineralization zone, Canadian company A-Cap Resources Ltd. has also engaged in exploration activities.

The company’s Letlhakane project finished building Botswana’s first uranium mine.

List of all the Natural Resources in Botswana

Botswana is abundant in natural resources such as

following are the top natural resources in Botswana

  • Arable Land
  • Livestock
  • Beautiful Scenery
  • Gold
  • Fossil Fuels
  • Diamonds
  • Silver
  • Copper
  • Nickel
  • Coal soda ash
  • Potash
  • Iron ore
  • Gypsum
  • Asbestos
  • Feldspar
  • Chromium
  • Graphite
  • Manganese


To lessen its reliance on the mining industry, Botswana’s government has intended to diversify its economy. To diversify its economy, the government of Botswana has encouraged investment from several countries.


Editor at EnvironmentGo! | | + posts

A passion-driven environmentalist by heart. Lead content writer at EnvironmentGo.
I strive to educate the public about the environment and its problems.
It has always been about nature, we ought to protect not destroy.

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