Botswana and De Beers agree new diamond sales deal

03 Jul 2023

A new diamond sales deal has been agreed between Botswana and De Beers Group.

Under the agreement, the country – the top diamond producer in the world by value - progressively increases the share of rough stones it obtains from the Debswana joint venture over the next ten years to 50%. 

Over the weekend, Botswana’s government and De Beers announced they had agreed on a sales deal for ten years for Debswana’s rough diamond production to 2033, with a 25-year Debswana mining licence valid until 2054, Reuters reports. 

The Anglo-American unit and the government own Debswana and have been selling 75% of its output to De Beers. The remaining stones were taken up by the country’s state-owned Okavango Diamond Co (ODC). 

From the beginning of the new contract, ODC will receive 30% of produce from Debswana, which will increase to 50% in the final year of the agreement, according to a joint statement by the government and De Beers. 

“From the start of the new contract period, ODC will receive 30% of Debswana production, progressively increasing to 50% by the final year of the contract, ensuring a sustainable transition path for both partners,” De Beers said in the statement.

In addition, the miner will allocate 1 billion Pula ($75 million) towards a diamond fund to invest in “additional value to the Botswana economy,” the company stated, with the contributions increasing ten times over the next decade. 

President of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi, had threatened to cut ties with the mining company if the government’s concerns weren’t highlighted in the new agreement that has been on the table since 2018, the Reuters report adds.

The Botswana-De Beers agreement allows the partners to advance the required investment to safeguard Debswana’s place as one of the leading gem producers in the world, De Beers stated.