Botswana remains “confident” of reaching a new sales agreement with De Beers, despite repeated threats by President Mokgweetsi Masisi to walk away from negotiations.
Government spokesperson William Sentshebeng said last week that talks were “ongoing, and we are confident that they will result in a deal that will benefit both parties”.
Botswana is seeking an increase its share of the rough output from the Debswana joint venture. It currently receives 25 per cent, but is reportedly keen to double that share to 50 per cent.
Sentshebeng said the government’s purchase of a 24 per cent stake in the Belgian manufacturer HB Antwerp would not impact its partnership with De Beers.
Under the original De Beers deal, signed in 1969, the government sold only 10 per cent of the rough diamonds.
In 2020 the split was adjusted so the state-owned Okavango Diamond Company (ODC), established in 2011, now gets 25 per cent.