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DTC celebrates 36 years of partnership with Botswana
Signs renewal of license which will run for the next 25 years
By: Diamond World News Service
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Jun 13 2006 12:00AM
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Reference: 460  

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De Beers’ celebrates 36 years of partnership with the Government of Botswana as part of its ongoing commitment to maintaining best practice in mining and distributing of rough diamonds. Botswana has the world’s most valuable diamond mine and most sophisticated source of rough diamond sorting and valuing operations. From these facilities, De Beers supplies rough diamonds to the world, of which the Gulf region is responsible for 6% of the retail market.

At a historic signing ceremony, with the presence of the President of the Republic of Botswana, the Chairman of De Beers Nicky Oppenheimer formally signed agreements giving effect to the renewal of the Mining License for Jwaneng mine, the globe’s most prosperous diamond mine. This license will run for the next 25 years. They also signed an agreement covering the sale of Debswana’s production to the Diamond Trading Company (DTC) for another five years. The DTC, the international sales and marketing arm of De Beers, is focused upon growing demand for and maximizing the value of Botswana’s diamonds, in addition to maintaining consumer confidence in the integrity of diamonds worldwide, including the Gulf market.

Another turning point in the history of this unique alliance is the agreement to establish Diamond Trading Company Botswana, a 50/50 partnership in Botswana between De Beers and the Government of Botswana, which will sort and value all Debswana’s diamond production. De Beers will fully fund construction of the new Diamond Trading Company Botswana building that will house this exciting new partnership in Gaborone. The development of a local industry has the potential to add real value to the country, supporting new jobs, upgrading the country’s infrastructure and serving as a catalyst to attract other international businesses to Botswana. De Beers has directly and in partnership with the Government of Botswana, contributed immensely to the welfare of Botswana. Millions of BWP have been donated to a vast array of national projects to improve the quality of living and support the government’s vision for the country’s future. Through charitable donations, business development, education, environmental conservation, employee welfare and HIV/AIDS health care and research De Beers has expressed that the people of Botswana are treasured far more than the precious stones themselves.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Minister of Minerals, Energy, and Water Resources
Charles Tibone said, “Diamond mining in Botswana over the past 35 years has fuelled the country’s social and economic development. Botswana has had a worthy and valuable partner in the De Beers Group. We share the mutual commitment to exploit minerals in Botswana in a sustainable, efficient, beneficial and timely manner. I am proud to sign these agreements on behalf of the Government and people of Botswana. These agreements will allow us to maximize economic benefit accruing to the country in a way that simultaneously allows the investor to earn a competitive return on their investment.”
Gareth Penny, Managing Director of the De Beers Group, stated “De Beers fully supports Botswana’s desire to establish a downstream diamond industry, and we are pleased to announce that diamonds will be made available locally for cutting and polishing factories in Botswana. De Beers will work closely with the Government, and together, we are excited by the opportunity this ambitious initiative has for further local job creation, while maintaining the full value for Botswana’s diamonds.”

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