Botswana’s newly-negotiated mining leases with
diamond giant De Beers will earn the African country about $113.5 million a year for their 25-year duration, according to a Reuters report.
Botswana, the world’s largest rough diamond producer by value, extended leases late last year on the four diamond mines operated by Debswana, its 50-50 joint venture with De Beers. It is expected to sign a detailed agreement by mid-2005 establishing a local sales unit to promote local cutting and polishing of raw stones.
Diamonds are the main component of Botswana’s economy, accounting for about a third of gross domestic product and nearly half of government revenues. Debswana expects output in 2005 to match its production in 2004.