Gaborones, Botswana — MININGREVIEW.COM — 19 September 2011 – The government of Botswana and the De Beers Group “’ the world’s leading diamond company “’ have announced that agreement has been reached on a new 10-year contract for the sorting, valuing and sales of Botswana’s diamond production.
The move is part of a 10-year deal which ensures De Beers’ continued access to diamonds from the country, which produces more of the gems by value than any other, and will also mean increased revenue and jobs for Botswana.
“As part of the milestone agreement, De Beers will transfer its London-based rough diamond sales activity to Botswana by the end of 2013, underpinning the long-term future of the partnership and transforming Botswana into one of the world’s leading diamond trading and manufacturing hubs,” the company said in a statement issued here.
“Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTCB)3 will continue to sort and value Debswana’s production before selling it on to the DTC. The DTC will continue to support the domestic cutting and polishing industry in Botswana, and will increase its commitment by making more diamonds available for manufacturing businesses operating in the country” the statement added.
From its new base in Botswana, the DTC will aggregate production from De Beers’ mines, and its joint venture operations worldwide, and sell to international sight-holders.
De Beers’ trading arm will also increase the value of diamonds it makes available to manufacturing companies in Botswana to US$800 million a year from US$550 million, the company said.
“With diamond demand and prices continuing to grow, De Beers has secured long-term, uninterrupted access to the largest supply of diamonds in the world,” the gem producer added in their statement.
The diamond industry accounts for about 30% of Botswana’s gross domestic product and 80% of its export earnings. The country provided about 21% of global industry output by value last year. Two-thirds of the 33 million carats De Beers produced last year was mined in Botswana.
Debswana Diamond Company “’ a joint venture between De Beers and the Botswana government “’ started the Cut-8 extension at Jwaneng mine last year at an estimated total project cost of US$3 billion through to 2015, in the largest single investment in the southern African country.
Cut-8 will extend the life of Jwaneng to at least 2025 in an effort to provide access to 100 million carats of diamonds, which could be worth more than US$15 billion over the life of the mine.