Botswana is set to conclude negotiations with De Beers on a diamond sales agreement that replaces the current 10-year deal, which expires in January.
As part of the new agreement, the government of Botswana wants an increase in the volume of diamonds cut and polished in the country. The bump in business will create jobs and boost the country’s economy.
“We are looking at April, not beyond, for all of this to happen and be successfully concluded,” Lefoko Moagi, the minister of mineral resources, green technology and energy security, said in an interview with Bloomberg. “We now want further to move into the value space; the bottom end of the business which involves your valuation, your pricing, cutting and polishing, marketing, selling, jewelry making.”
Botswana accounts for over two-thirds of De Beers’ production. The country owns 15-percent of the mining company and holds a 50-percent stake in Debswana.