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De Beers and Botswana Extend Sales Deal Again

Dec 19, 2021 5:45 AM   By Rapaport News
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De Beers has extended its sales agreement with Botswana by a further six months after Covid-19 made it hard to negotiate a new deal.

The terms of the current arrangement will remain in place until the end of June 2022, De Beers said in a statement Friday. The extra time will allow the miner and the government to complete discussions with a view to renewing the contract following “good progress made during 2021,” the company added.

The agreement was initially due to expire at the end of 2020, but the pandemic and resulting travel restrictions forced the parties to roll it over for another year. De Beers is headquartered in London.

De Beers’ last 10-year deal with Botswana, which went into effect in 2011, called for the miner to move its sightholder sales and aggregation operations from London to Gaborone in a bid to support the country’s diamond sector. Industry observers expect the new agreement to include fresh benefits to help the national economy diversify beyond mining.

Diamond mining in the southern African country takes place through Debswana, a company jointly owned by De Beers and the government in a 50:50 partnership. The nation — home to the Jwaneng and Orapa mines, among others — is De Beers’ biggest source of rough, with production rising 39% year on year to 17.1 million carats in the first nine months of 2021.

Image: The Orapa mine in Botswana. (De Beers)
Tags: Botswana, COVID-19, De Beers, Debswana, gaborone, Jwaneng, mining, Orapa, Rapaport News
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