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Okavango to Hold First Diamond Auction in June

Group to Launch Full Sales in September

May 7, 2013 9:17 AM   By Avi Krawitz
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RAPAPORT... The Okavango Diamond Company will hold a pilot sale of rough diamonds on June ‎‎26. The sale is intended to test the company’s systems before ‎it launches full, regular auctions in September.‎

Okavango will invite 50 companies to view the goods in Gaborone’s Diamond ‎Technology Park before taking part in the live auction test. Among those invited will ‎be  all of the companies with diamond manufacturing license in Botswana. Jacob ‎Thamage, Okavango’s chairman, told Rapaport News that participating companies were ‎chosen to represent all manufacturing centers so that Okavango can receive ‎diverse feedback from all sectors of the market. ‎

‎“The pilot sale represents an important final step in Okavango’s establishment,” said Toby ‎Frears, Okavango’s managing director. “It will help us ensure that our systems are ‎efficient and robust ahead of our full sales launch and underlines our commitment to ‎delivering a customer focused sales model.” ‎

Thamage explained that the company has developed an online auction system that ‎draws from industry trends and best practices. ‎

State-owned Okavango Diamond Company was established in 2011 to introduce rough ‎diamond sales in Botswana independent of De Beers. The company is entitled to 12 ‎percent of Debswana’s production in 2013, which will increase by 1 percent each year ‎until the allocation stabilizes at 15 percent in 2016. Debswana is a joint venture between ‎the Botswana government and De Beers.‎

Thamage said the company has not taken its full allocation for the pilot auction and that ‎only a small amount of goods will be available.  ‎

When full sales commence in September, the auctions will be open to broad participation ‎from local and international diamond companies that will be able to gain access to the ‎full range of Debswana’s diamonds at market-determined prices, the company ‎explained. ‎

Frears explained that the sales model has been designed to care for both short term and ‎long term supply needs. He added that the company intends to introduce fixed term ‎supply contracts in its next phase of development, with those details expected to be ‎finalized in early 2014.

Registration information  for the September auctions will be published in the coming ‎weeks.‎
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Tags: Avi Krawitz, De Beers, Debswana, diamonds, Okavango Diamond Company, Rapaport, Toby Frears
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