GABORONE: Botswana ‘s privately owned coal mine has produced its first saleable coal that has been exported to South Africa and Namibia , the chief executive of the company that owns the mine said on Wednesday. The Masama Coal Mine has extracted roughly 39,000 tonnes of coal since July and aims to ramp up production to 100,000 tonnes per month of saleable coal by next year, Minergy Chief Executive Morne du Plessiss said. “From (this month) it is envisaged that Minergy will be mining 110,000 tonnes run of mine per month. The same quantities will be put through the washing plant and this should result in saleable coal of between 70,000 to 80,000 tonnes, increasing to 100,000 tonnes per month next year,” du Plessis said. “Minergy is currently exploring various options for off take, ranging from longer-term agreements for the finer duff product to spot deals for the bigger fractions,” he added. The open cast mine and associated coal wash plant is located 60 km (37 miles) northwest of Botswana‘s capital Gaborone and was developed at a cost of 400 million pula ($37 million). The Masama mine, the first privately-owned coal mine in Botswana, is estimated to hold 390 million tonnes of coal reserves. Despite Botswana‘s huge estimated coal resources of 212 billion tonnes, Minergy‘s Masama mine is one of only two operating coal mines in the country. The other is state-owned Morupule Coal Mine.