The government of Botswana and De Beers cemented their partnership by renewing their mining licenses for several of the world’s biggest mines, and setting up a Botswana branch of the Diamond Trading Company that will sort diamonds. The new agreement could mean that at least 200 workers in London, where sorting facilities traditionally took place, could lose their jobs as those positions move to Botswana.
De Beers will fund the construction of a new DTC Botswana building that will house the partnership in Gaborone at a cost of more than $83 million.
The new DTC will supply four cutting factories, which De Beers has encouraged its sightholders to set up in Botswana
The license for the Jwaneng mine will run for twenty five years (effective from Aug. 1, 2004). In addition, licenses for the Orapa, Lethlakane and Damtshaa mines have been extended to run until 2029, in line with the Jwaneng License. The parties also signed an agreement covering the sale of Debswana’s production to the DTC for an additional five years.