Makgato-Malesu said new licences were suspended in June as the government was working on a strategy to determine the value of its coal assets.
“The licences have been suspended for now and we will go back to the drawing board and come up with a road map that is more strategic, more focused and more thought through in a way,” she said.
“It will also be aligned to Botswana’s national vision and strategy of diversifying our [mineral focus from diamonds].”
Makgato-Malesu said Botswana was the world’s largest producer of diamonds by value, but there was more to the country than the precious stone.
“We are on an aggressive agenda to intensify our economic diversification,” she said.
“Therefore the whole rationale is to make sure we promote the opportunities that exist, that are away from diamond mining – which has really been a principal commodity in the way that it gives the bulk of the revenue to the government.”
Potential consumers for the country’s coal would be the Asian market, Makgato-Malesu said.
She said companies should not bypass Africa as just the producer of the resource, adding the region had an extensive industrialisation program.
"You also have to look at us as a consumer of the very resources that we produce.”