The Botswana government is rethinking its proposed deal with HB Antwerp, after Canadian miner Lucara last week announced it was pulling out of a 10-year sales agreement with the company.
The government said in March that it would be buying a 24 per cent stake in HB, a new venture that pledged to reinvent the diamond supply chain.
But that was only an agreement in principle, and Lucara’s termination has forced the Botswana government to re-assess the situation.
“We have now learnt that the deal between Lucara and HB is off due to financial issues as it has been reported. It is for us now to determine the course of action we are going to take,” said President Mokgweetsi Masisi, according to a Reuters report.
Under the proposed deal, the state-owned Okavango Diamond Company would also have supplied HB with rough diamonds for a five-year period.
Lucara pulled the plug on its deal with HB last week, accusing the company of accusing the company of “a material breach of financial commitments”, though it did not provide details.
The move came less than a month after HB removed Oded Mansori, one of its three co-founders, citing “a sharp difference in strategic vision and approaches to business”. He responded by launching legal action.