Eswatini Daily News
Africa Business Events Features Finance INTERNATIONAL National Politics SADC

Botswana says it is still keen on De Beers partnership, confident of new deal

GABORONE (Reuters) – Botswana wants to maintain its partnership with De Beers and is confident that ongoing negotiations for a new diamond sales agreement will succeed, a government spokesperson said on Tuesday.

Botswana is negotiating a new sales deal with Anglo American Plc’s De Beers ahead of the expiry of its current agreement, signed in 2011, later this year.

President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s threats to walk away from the negotiations if Botswana fails to secure a bigger share of rough diamonds produced by Debswana, their 54-year-old diamond mining joint venture, has fueled speculation that the government may end the relationship.

READ MORE: COSAFA backs Botswana’s AFCON 2027 bid

But in a statement, government spokesperson William Sentshebeng said the negotiations between the government and De Beers “are ongoing, and we are confident that they will result in a deal that will benefit both parties”.

Botswana’s share of Debswana’s output increased to 25% in 2020 from 10% in 2011. Although Botswana has not publicly stated what share it is seeking in the new deal, it is believed to be as high as 50%.

Sentshebeng said talks to renew De Beers’ diamond mining rights, which are due to expire in 2029, were also being held well in advance to allow for critical investment decisions.

De Beers and Botswana plan to invest in capital-intensive expansion projects at their two largest mines, Jwaneng and Orapa, to extend their lifespans by another 20 years.

READ MORE: Ordinary emaSwati can own 10% shares in mining companies

In March, Masisi’s announcement that Botswana will take up a 24% stake in Belgian gem cutter and trader HB Antwerp was seen as an attempt to reduce De Beers’ dominance over the country’s diamond industry.

But Sentshebeng said Botswana’s partnership with HB Antwerp was meant to secure a stake in diamond processing and value addition.

“The partnership with HB Antwerp will not affect or replace the partnership with De Beers, which is premised on mining and selling rough diamonds,” Sentshebeng said.

Related posts

Niger arrests politicians after coup, other juntas voice support


Taiwan Banking Experience Required In Eswatini – HMK


DStv SA hikes prices by 4.3%


Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Siyabonga Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy
Open chat
Connect with the Eswatini Daily News on WhatsApp