Botswana's President Mokgweetsi Masisi last week Sunday warned that his country may sever ties with diamond giant De Beers if talks to renegotiate a sales deal prove unfavorable to his government.
Rough diamond production increased by 6% to 8.2 million carats, reflecting strong operational performance across the assets, partially offset by the planned completion of the final cut at Venetia open pit.
According to a statement released by the country’s financy minister in Gabarone, Botswana expects economic growth of 4% during 2023 while targeting medium-term growth of 5.7%. The government plans to use this windafall in proceeds to beef up infrastructural investments around the country.
Rough diamond sales by Debswana Diamond Company reached record levels in 2022 jumping up by 22% from the previous year. The jump in sales has resulted from the West’s shunning of Russian stones whereby Botswana profited from steady global demand for diamond jewellery.
Declaring a slight -0.09% loss on the GBX in 2022, Botswana Diamonds (BD) remains optimistic regarding their latest strategy of acquiring existing lots from former mining exploitations. This year alone the company has increased its stake to 50% in the Maibwe joint venture by acquiring a stake from the liquidator of BCL in Botswana, and then landed an acquisition deal of the KX36 discovery from Sekaka Diamonds (a subsidiary of Petra Diamonds) which contains substantial quantities of diamonds.
On Tuesday, President Masisi of Botswana, the First Lady, and a large delegation including the country's Minister of Minerals and Energy Moagi and Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation Kwape visited the Antwerp diamond community.
Africa Intelligence reports that Botswana’s President Masisi, speaking at a gala dinner hosted by Lucara Diamonds, is adding pressure to the negotiations with De Beers on a renewed Debswana contract, the 50/50 joint venture between the government and De Beers. In the current agreement, 75 % of Debswana’s rough is sold via De Beers, 25% is sold via the state-owned Okavango Diamond Company, the latter achieving record sales revenue via its sales in Antwerp last year.