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Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources (MMEWR)

Gaborone 7th May 2013: Okavango Diamond Company (ODC) today announced that it will hold a pilot sale in Gaborone from 26th June 2013 to test the systems and processes it has developed for auctioning rough diamonds, ahead of a full launch of its commercial sales operations in September.


ODC will be inviting approximately 50 companies to attend viewings of diamond lots in Gaborone before taking part in a live auction test. These organisations have been carefully selected to represent a cross-section of the market, making them well placed to provide ODC with feedback on all aspects of the sale. The list of invitees to the pilot will include all companies in Botswana with a diamond manufacturing licence.

Toby Frears, Managing Director of ODC said "The pilot sale represents an important final step in ODC’s establishment. It will help us ensure that our systems are efficient and robust ahead of our full sales launch and underlines our commitment to delivering a customer focused sales model."

Describing ODC’s chosen sales model, Chairman of ODC, Jacob Thamage, said: "ODC has designed an online auction that draws from industry trends and best practice and is aligned to our objective of delivering a competitive, transparent and efficient sales system."

For the system development, ODC has engaged Power Auctions LLC, a world leader in on-line auction design, whose clients have included BHP Billiton and the governments of Australia, Canada, the UK and the USA.

When full sales commence, ODC’s auction events will be open to broad participation from local and international diamond companies who will be able to gain access to the

full range of Debswana’s diamonds at market-determined prices. The full details of how to register to participate in future sales will be published in the coming weeks.

"ODC’s sales model has been designed to cater both for customers’ short and long term supply needs. In addition to regular auction sales, ODC plans to introduce fixed term supply contracts, although the details will only be finalised in early 2014," added Frears.

Commenting on ODC’s progress and business model, Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Honourable Kitso Mokaila, stated "ODC is on track to deliver Botswana’s own direct route to market. Its open trading platform will attract diamantaires from around the world, helping deliver Government’s vision of Gaborone as a key destination for rough sourcing."


ODC has been created to provide Botswana with its own sustainable, commercial diamond sales channel. It will provide Government with greater insight into diamond market trends and, as part of the Government’s broader strategy, will help to cement the country’s growing position and reputation as a leading centre for the production, sale and manufacture of diamonds.

The company was established following the renewal of the Debswana Sales Agreement between the Botswana Government and De Beers. The Agreement provides for Government to purchase and sell 12% of Debswana’s production in 2013, rising to 15% by 2016.

Debswana is Botswana’s largest diamond producer and is a joint venture between the Botswana Government and De Beers.

For enquiries please email: info@odc.co.bw

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