Botswana Assigns $65M for Stake in Belgian Manufacturer

Botswana has designated BWP 890 million ($65 million) from its new fiscal 2024-2025 budget for the purchase of a 24% stake in Belgian manufacturer HB Antwerp.

The deal, which it first announced in March, calls for the African country to supply rough from state-owned Okavango Diamond Company (ODC) to HB Botswana for five years. The partnership would operate in a similar fashion to HB’s previous supply deal with Lucara Diamond Corp, enabling Botswana to retain a share of the polished profits.

Lucara terminated its rough-supply agreement with HB in September, citing a “material breach of financial commitments” by the Belgian manufacturer as the reason for the split. That decision came on the heels of HB’s departure from cofounder and managing partner Oded Mansori, whom it has since reinstated to his original role.

There was media speculation late last year that the Botswana government was pressuring Lucara to reconnect with HB, and that the split could affect Botswana’s interest in the manufacturer. Lucara owns the Karowe mine in Botswana. The miner has since announced that it planned to form new supply deals with other vendors.


Zimbabwe Holds Diamond Auction for 316,000 Carats

Zimbabwe Rough Diamonds

Zimbabwe’s state owned Minerals Marketing Corporation opened a 316,000 carat diamond auction, which will close at the end of the week an official said.

“This is the third auction we have conducted this year as there were some administrative issues which were taking place within the organization,” MMCZ’s General Manager Tongai Muzenda said by phone on Wednesday. The last auction was held in July.

The auction, which began on Sept. 9 and will close on Sept. 13, has attracted buying interest from Belgium, Dubai, India, Israel and South Africa, but Muzenda declined to name the companies bidding, citing confidentiality.

Zimbabwe expects to produce 4.1 million carats of diamonds this year, up from 2.8 carats in 2018. At the peak of production in 2012, the southern African country’s output was 12 million carats.