A report in South Africa’s Business Day claims Botswana’s recent decision to issue licenses independently to sightholders shows the country’s growing independence from De Beers.
The sightholders already had licenses to produce in South Africa. Under De Beers rules, a sightholder is only allowed one African polishing plant. Therefore, Botswana’s action flies in the face of De Beers’ stated rules.
One industry source said this was a strong signal that Botswana is “independently going to decide about the future of their own industry” and called it a “courageous move.”
In previous negotiations with De Beers, the Botswanan industry has insisted that De Beers set up more polishing factories in the country, that Botsawna take a bigger percentage of the profits, and that De Beers move it sorting and sales system to Garbone.