Despite President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s repeated warnings to withdraw from negotiations, Botswana remains “confident” of completing a new sales agreement with De Beers.
Last week, government spokesman William Sentshebeng stated that negotiations were “ongoing,” and that “we are confident that they will result in a deal that will benefit both parties.”
Botswana wants to enhance its share of the Debswana joint venture’s rough output. It presently earns 25% but is apparently eager to increase that portion to 50%.
Sentshebeng stated that the government’s purchase of a 24% interest in the Belgian firm HB Antwerp would have no effect on the company’s collaboration with De Beers.
The government sold only 10% of the raw diamonds under the original De Beers agreement, inked in 1969.
The split was changed in 2020 such that the state-owned Okavango Diamond Company (ODC), founded in 2011, now receives 25%.