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Botswana Won’t Drop its Demand to Sell a Bigger Share of Diamonds Made with De Beers

Botswana and De Beers mine diamonds together under an equally owned joint venture, Debswana. Three-quarters of Debswana’s production, which was 24-million carats in 2022, is sold to De Beers. The balance is sold to state-owned Okavango Diamond Company (ODC), which was set up under the current 2011 sales deal as Botswana sought to market gems outside the De Beers system. President Masisi threatened to walk away from talks to renew the sales deal unless Botswana gets a larger share of output from the JV. Masisi told reporters on Thursday that Botswana had denied itself the opportunity to sell its own diamonds through the 54-year-old joint venture agreement. He added that the experience of selling diamonds outside the De Beers system, which sells unpolished, or rough, stones, had shown that Botswana could get more revenue.