Botswana, De Beers Sign New Agreement on Diamond Sales.

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Botswana and De Beers have signed a new diamond sales deal which gives the African country a bigger share of rough stones from their joint venture, the Botswana government and the mining company said yesterday.

The government and De Beers agreed on a new 10-year sales deal for Debswana’s rough diamond production through to 2033, and new 25-year Debswana mining licences through to 2054.

Debswana, a joint venture between Anglo American unit De Beers and Botswana’s government, sells 75 per cent of its output to De Beers, with the balance taken up by state-owned Okavango Diamond Co.

In the run-up to yesterday’s deal, Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi, who is expected to seek re-election next year, had pushed De Beers for a bigger share of Debswana’s output.

In March, Botswana announced it would take a 24 per cent stake in Belgian gem processing firm HB Antwerp in a move seen as designed to loosen De Beers’ grip on the country’s gems.

Botswana’s state-owned diamond trading company, Okavango Diamond Company (ODC), would also enter into a five-year agreement to supply rough diamonds to HB Antwerp as part of the deal.

Debswana’s diamond sales hit a record US$4.588 billion (RM21.4 billion) last year, compared to US$3.466 billion in 2021.

Diamond sales, almost entirely from Debswana, account for two-thirds of Botswana’s foreign currency receipts and a fifth of its gross domestic product.

Botswana supplies 70 per cent of De Beers’ rough diamonds.

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