Botswana gets more diamonds from De Beers after protracted negotiations

The agreement gets Botswana an increased 30% fee of De Beers diamond mining.

Botswana gets more diamonds from De Beers after protracted negotiations
Design by Ifeoluwa Awowoye for Mariblock. 

De Beers Group, a leading diamond mining company, and Botswana have agreed on a new diamond production deal. As part of the agreement, the African country sees an increase in the share of rough diamond it gets from Debswana — a joint venture equally owned by the government and De Beers. 

Quick facts  

  • This provides for a new 10-year agreement between the Botswana government and De Beers to sell the diamonds produced by Debswana and a 25-year extension of its mining licenses. 
  •  It further gives Botswana an increased 30% share of diamond production for sale via the state-owned Okavango Diamond Company and will be scaled up to 50% in the last year of the contract, per statements issued by both sides.  
  • Additionally, De Beers will pay 1 billion pula ($75 million) towards a diamond fund as an investment to Botswana’s economy.

Why it matters

  • In 2018, De Beers launched Tracr, which utilizes blockchain to monitor and transparently record the origin and quality of diamonds through the value chain.
  • In June 2023, De Beers opened Tracr to other global participants from the diamond industry and has registered more than 1 million rough natural diamonds at the source and 110,000 diamonds at the manufacturer level since its launch.  

Key background 

  • Under the previous 2011 sale agreement between both sides, De Beers received 90% of the diamonds mined, while Botswana had 10%.  
  • In 2020, Botswana’s share increased to 25%, after which the President of the Southern African country, Mokgweetsi Masisi threatened to cut ties with the company if the next proposal proved unfavorable to the country.  
  • The country announced intentions to take a 24% stake in the Belgian diamond manufacturer HB Antwerp in March 2023.  

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