Botswana has dismissed reports of mining activities in Okavango Delta, one of the country’s prime tourism destinations.

“Botswana government treasures and values both Tsodilo Hills and the Okavango Delta and the Ministry assures the public that there are no mining activities in these protected areas,” Mmetla Masire, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, said Wednesday.

Masire said said Reconnaissance Energy Botswana (Recon Botswana) was issued an exploration license to explore for petroleum minerals in the North West District last June, for a period of four years, but the license area does not cover the core and buffer zones for the protected Okavango Delta and the Tsodilo Hills Heritage sites.

The company is at preliminary stages of exploration, focusing on acquiring and processing information, analysis and interpretation of geological data, the commissioning of environmental impact assessment, and on getting the necessary approvals prior to carrying out any drilling activities, he said.

Masire also denied reports that Recon Botswana is planning to start hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

“Hydraulic fracturing does not form part of the approved program of exploration,” he said.

Okavango Delta is a vast inland river delta in northern Botswana. The World Heritage Site is a sanctuary to some of the world’s most endangered animals and birds. Enditem

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