Gaborone — Botswana and the London-based international diamond consortium De Beers have ended uncertainty over their long-standing partnership after announcing a 10-year extension to their diamond sales agreement.
In a joint statement released late Friday, Botswana and De Beers indicated their sales agreement has been extended until 2034, while the mining license will be in place for the next 25 years.
No value was given for the agreement and there were no further details on the allocation of rough stones, but the government and De Beers say the new deal “reflects the aspirations of the people of Botswana.”
Addressing the media this week, Botswana’s minerals minister, Lefoko Moagi, indicated a deal was imminent and that it would be a favorable situation for both parties.
“We are making headway. We are very optimistic. We are fully aware what it means for Botswana, for De Beers and what it means to the diamond industry. We will gravitate towards something that will be a shared win, if not a win-win for all of us,” Moagi said.
Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi held a firm position during the negotiations, saying his country was prepared to walk away if a favorable deal were not reached.
Under the previous arrangement, Botswana was allocated 25% of rough diamonds mined through Debswana, a joint venture between the government and De Beers.
Last year, De Beers obtained about 70% of its rough diamonds from Botswana.
Diamond mining contributes approximately one-third of Botswana’s gross domestic product and is a major factor in the southern African nation’s rise as the sixth-richest country on the continent.