Debswana diamond sales dip somewhat in cautious market.


According to Bank of Botswana numbers released on Friday, raw diamond sales by Debswana Diamond Co decreased somewhat in the first three months of the year as the market grew more cautious owing to the uncertain global macroeconomic outlook.

Debswana, a joint venture between De Beers, a subsidiary of Anglo American Plc, and the Botswana government, sells 75% of its output to De Beers and the other 25% to the state-owned Okavango Diamond Co.

Debswana’s diamond sales fell 1.4% from the same quarter last year, totaling $1.077 billion in the three months ending in March.

However, the stronger dollar during the period resulted in a 10.1% increase in rough sales to 14.005 billion pula.

Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi has said that his government is interested in obtaining more raw diamonds for sale outside of the De Beers system, prompting De Beers to renegotiate its mining rights and sales agreements with Botswana

The Debswana mine produces almost all of Botswana’s diamonds; the Karowe mine, operated by Lucara Diamond Corp. (LUC.TO), is the country’s only other diamond mine.

Diamonds make for around 30% of Botswana’s income and 70% of foreign currency profits.


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