• Botala Energy awarded environmental approval for commercial development of Project Naledi
  • Similar approvals also under application for the Serowe Energy Hub and the Leupane Energy Hub and Industrial Park
  • Coring rig to mobilise to Project Pitse to conclude drilling at the commercial pilot program


Special Report: Botala Energy has cleared a major hurdle for commercial development of the Serowe coalbed methane project (Project Naledi) in Botswana with the receipt of environmental approval without public objections.

The 70%-owned Serowe CBM project sits within a high-grade CBM region and is the subject of development efforts by Botala Energy (ASX:BTE) to meet the strong demand for reliable and affordable energy in Botswana and neighbouring countries.

BTE has been progressing Project Pitse, which is separate from Project Naledi, its first commercial pilot project within Serowe.

Project Pitse has independently certified 2C (best estimate) contingent resource of 317 billion cubic feet (Bcf) based off five historical exploration wells that all intersected 24-40m of net coal, including the prospecting Serowe and Upper Morupule formations at a relatively low $220,000 average cost per well.

Related early-stage renewable energy opportunities are also under consideration.


Another step for Project Naledi 

The environmental approval for Project Naledi was granted on schedule and without public objections following appraisal of the company’s environmental impact assessment, which included comprehensive community consultations.

It leaves BTE with the conversion of its prospecting licences to mining licences, which is currently at an advanced stage, before it can kick off development work.

Development of Project Naledi will consist of:

  • Well heads and gas gathering network of subsurface pipes connected to the central processing facility within the wellfield for removal of water and impurities;
  • Gas supply to the proposed 20MW gas/solar hybrid pilot in the town Serowe;
  • Gas being compressed into a 100km export pipeline to the proposed Leupane Energy Hub and Industrial Park;
  • Water disposal from evaporation ponds with a reverse osmosis plant to treat saline water currently under consideration; and
  • Network of infield pipelines and service track.

BTE is also progressing environmental approvals for the Serowe Energy Hub and the Leupane Energy Hub and Industrial Park with both applications currently out for public assessment.

“Awarding of environmental approval is always a major milestone for any project. It reduces the number of remaining hurdles for development of this project,” BTE chief executive Kris Martinick said.


Project Pitse operations resume

Separately, the company has resumed operations at Project Pitse with a coring rig set to mobilise to site during the week commencing 22 January.

The coring rig will take cores from three intersected seams in the fifth and final well, Serowe-3.4, of this five-well pilot cluster, for desorption testing in its field laboratory.

Once these cores have been retrieved, all four wells in the program will be completed.

BTE has also started ground magnetics and audio-magnetotellurics (AMT) surveying ahead of an exploration drilling program consisting of three ‘slim-hole’ wells.

The planned wells are not designed for production as this program is aimed at increasing the company’s geological understanding and lithology in large step-outs from the Pitse area.



This article was developed in collaboration with Botala Energy, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.