Gaborone, Botswana — 13 March 2012 – The government of Botswana has formed a new state-owned diamond trading company that will purchase, market and sell the 10% to 15% portion of Debswana production to which the state is entitled, through the new marketing agreement signed with De Beers last year.
Miningmx quotes news daily Mmegi as reporting that the new Okavango Diamond Trading Company is expected to auction independently an estimated US$300 million worth of diamonds per year on the open market from Debswana’s average US$3 billion-a-year supply.
In his Committee of Supply speech to Parliament this week, minister of minerals, energy and water resources Ponatshego Kedikilwe said his ministry had completed the incorporation of the private company, which was wholly owned by government.
“The interim board of directors of the company has been appointed and the appointment of CEO will follow suit immediately once the potential candidate has been identified and confirmed,” the minister said earlier.
Under the 10-year deal signed in September last year, Botswana will buy 10% of Debswana run-of-mine production and sell it independently through open tenders outside the traditional DTC framework. The government’s portion will rise to 15% over a four-year period.
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