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Botswana/De Beers Mining Licences Renewed for 25 Years
Botswana/De Beers Mining Licences Renewed for 25 Years
By: Administrator
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Jun 9 2005 12:00AM
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Reference: 2294  

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The Government of the Republic of Botswana (GRB) and De Beers announced on December 20 in a joint statement that they have agreed to renew the Jwaneng mining licence for 25 years from August 1, 2004.

The Companies also said that the Orapa, Damtshaa and Letlhakane mining licences will be extended for a similar 25-year period from August 1, 2004.

Orapa and Jwaneng are the two richest diamond mines in the world, producing approximately 29 million carats per annum with a value of over $2.5 billion.

According to the statement: "With effect from the same data, GRB and De Beers have agreed that the effective 15% holding of the equity of DB Investments (DBI) as previously owned be Debswana be ceded to and directly owned by GRB."

De Beers and the Botswana government said the licence renewal and licence extensions mark "the long-term continuation of the unique and important partnership between GRB and De Beers."

De Beers' major shareholder, Anglo - American welcomed the agreement in a press release issued on December 20, stating "The renewal of all the De Beers mining licences in the Republic of Botswana is a positive development for the long-term growth & success of De Beers as the world's leading diamond producer and reflects the continuation of the partnership between GRB and De Beers."

The press release stated the effects of the licence renewal on Anglo-American, "the impact of the licence renewals on Anglo-American's headline earning is not expected to be material." Although from Anglo's equity ownership structure perspective, the fact that the agreement between De Beers and GRB included the ceding of Debswana's 15% equity stake in De Beers to GRB, Anglo American will now only account for its direct interest of 45% in De Beers as opposed to its effective interest of 48.65% before the agreement took effect. Any charge relating to this reduction in its effective holding in De Beers will be treated as an exceptional item by Anglo-American.

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