Botswana’s mining industry has warned that a growing number of mining companies are planning legal action against the country’s constitution.
Botswana, which was ruled by a military dictatorship for more than 70 years, passed a law in November that requires mining companies to disclose the full amount of money they make from the extraction of gold and minerals.
The law has triggered a number of lawsuits by mining companies, with some of the biggest mining companies including Anglo American, Anglo American Gold and Anglo American Resources suing the government over the new legislation.
Botswanians are now facing a raft of legal challenges, with mining companies alleging the law breaches the constitution.
The mining industry said it would sue the Botswana government if it fails to comply with the law.
Botsvina Mining Association (BMA) secretary-general Chaima Mbongo said Botswana had “lost control of its constitution”, and that the country had to recognise that mining companies have a legitimate role in the mining industry.
Botswans government has not responded to requests for comment.
Botsania Mining Industry Association (BMIA) secretary general Chaimatte Mbongo told Al Jazeera that Botswana must take legal action to change the mining law to allow the mining companies’ interests to be respected.
Botsanians’ mining industry is worth $5bn a year and employs about 200,000 people, according to the BMA.
Botsanaan mining company Anglo American has said it will sue Botswana if it does not comply with a legal challenge.
Botsian mining companies in recent years have complained that Botsanans constitution has been used to attack their businesses.
In 2016, Botswana became the first country in the world to outlaw the extraction and production of gold from indigenous land.
Botsans mining companies also face pressure from the government to stop extracting gold from their own reserves.
Botsanias government has said that Botsans government will protect the countrys gold, silver and other mineral resources and that Botswanans laws are outdated and have no relevance to today’s mining and extraction industries.
Botsia’s government has recently acknowledged that Botsaians mining industry should take more responsibility for their environment.
Botsis environment minister, Emmanuel Lusu, said in 2016 that Botsia needed to “rethink its mining laws and ensure the protection of nature”.