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Botswana and De Beers announce milestone agreement marking n...

GABORONE, BOTSWANA, 16 September 2011 –The Government of the Republic of Botswana and the De Beers Group today announced that they have reached agreement on a new 10 year contract for thesorting, valuing and sales of Debswana’s1diamond production.  As part of the milestone agreement, De Beers will shift its London-based rough diamond sales activity to Botswana, underpinning the long-term future of the partnership and transforming Botswana into one of the world’s leading diamond trading and manufacturing hubs.

The agreement, which commences from 1 January 2011, is the longest sales contract ever agreed between the two partners.  It will see the Diamond Trading Company (DTC)2 relocate its Sights and sales operations - including professionals, skills, equipment and technology - from London to Gaborone by the end of 2013.  From its new base in Botswana, the DTC will aggregate production from De Beers’ mines and its joint venture operations worldwide and sell to international Sightholders.

Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTCB) will continue to sort and value Debswana’s production before selling it on to the DTC.  The DTC will continue to support the local cutting and polishing industry in Botswana, and will increase its commitment by making more diamonds available for manufacturing businesses operating in Botswana.

In addition, the agreement provides for an independent sales outlet for the Botswana Government, which will begin this year at 10 percent of Debswana’s run of mine production and rise to 15 percent over a five year period.

The Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Dr. Ponatshego Kedikilwe, hailed the agreement as a major step in securing the future of Botswana’s economy, saying, “Botswana and De Beers have today renewed one of the most successful public/private partnerships in the world.
This agreement, and the tangible outcomes it will deliver, will enable Botswana to achieve its aspiration to be a major diamond centre engaged in all aspects of the diamond business.

“The agreement gives us direct access to market which will be helpful for the successful development of the downstream diamond industry in Botswana.  The agreement will also bring more employment and other opportunities to Botswana.

“Our agreement is only the first step, much work needs to be done during the next several years to make this transformation a success.  As a major player in the diamond trading industry we look we look forward to welcoming the global diamond industry to Botswana.  We are invigorated by the challenge and excited by the possibilities.”

Nicky Oppenheimer, Chairman of De Beers, commented, “With this agreement, De Beers cements its commitment to be the driving force behind Botswana’s emergence as a world leading diamond trading and manufacturing centre.  The transformation that this agreement sets out is a testament to our  in the future of Botswana, and is a clear acknowledgment that De Beers’ success is only possible with a profound understanding that the aspirations of our partners must be at the core of our business.  I am proud of this moment and excited by what we will build together.”

Mr Oppenheimer added that as a result of the agreement, “Botswana has preserved and enhanced a reliable route to market focused on maximising the value of her natural resource, and De Beers has secured long-term and uninterrupted access to the largest supply of diamonds in the world.  This is a once in a generation opportunity for Botswana and De Beers to shape the future of the diamond industry, and we look forward to working with our partners to provide our Sightholders with the continuity and quality of supply they expect while pushing beneficiation to greater levels than ever seen before.”


• Debswana is a 50/50 mining joint venture between Botswana and De Beers • Diamond Trading Company is the wholly-owned distribution arm of De Beers • Diamond Trading Company Botswana is a 50/50 sales joint venture between Botswana and De Beers

Notes to Editors

About De Beers

De Beers, established in 1888, is the world’s leading rough diamond company with unrivalled expertise in the exploration, mining and marketing of diamonds. Together with its joint venture partners, De Beers operates in more than 20 countries across six continents employing more than 16,000 people, and is the world’s largest diamond producer with mining operations across Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Canada. As part of the company’s operating philosophy, the people of De Beers are committed to Living up to Diamonds by making a lasting contribution to the communities in which they live and work. In the countries in which we have mining operations, this means carrying out profitable business, whilst at the same time helping Governments achieve their aspirations of turning natural resources into shared national wealth. De Beers encourages sustainable working to ensure long-term positive development for Africa, and returns more than US$3.0 billion to the continent every year. For further information about De Beers visit www.debeersgroup.com.

About the Diamond Trading Company (DTC)

The DTC is the rough diamond distribution arm of the De Beers Family of Companies and is the world's largest supplier of rough diamonds, by value.  With activities in sorting, valuing and diamond beneficiation, the DTC has representative offices in the UK, and South Africa, as well as joint venture operations in Botswana and Namibia with the governments of those countries.

[Formed in 1934, the DTC was incorporated in 1986 and established as a stand-alone company within the De Beers family in July 2004.  DTC’s vision is to be the world’s most effective rough diamond distributor maximising long-term value for Producer and Sightholder partners, while assisting in the creation of viable downstream industries in producer countries.] [Note to De Beers: It is understood that DTC is no longer a company but a trading arm of DBUK]

About the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources:

The Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources (MMEWR) coordinates development and operational activities in the energy, water and mineral’s sector. MMEWR is made up of five departments namely Geological Survey, Water Affairs, Mines and Energy Affairs and Mineral Affairs. It also has two parastatals namely Botswana Power Corporation and Water Utilities Corporation. The two parastatals under (MMEWR,) have offices in Gaborone and most villages around the country. This Ministry formulates, directs and coordinates the overall national politics on minerals, energy and water resources. It provides clean water as a direct means of improving people's lives and an essential input for agricultural, commercial and industrial development. It provides effective national leadership and liaises with other related sectors within government and other parastatals, private and international agencies working in the filed of minerals, energy and water resources. For further information about MMEWR visit www.mmewr.gov.bw


Government of the Republic of Botswana
Gaborone, Botswana
T:  (267) 365 6641
M:  (267) 7141 6061
E:  pthari@gov.bw

De Beers Group
Lynette Gould
London, UK
T:  +44 (0) 207 430 3509
M:  +44 (0) 7740 393260
E:  lynette.gould@debeersgroup.co.uk


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