De Beers, Botswana Extend Sales Agreement for Third Time
The current agreement, originally set to expire in 2020, will now go through June 2023.
The current 10-year agreement dates back to Jan. 1, 2011 and dictates that Debswana, the mining company jointly owned by De Beers and the Botswana government, sell 75 percent of its rough diamond output to De Beers, with the remaining 25 percent sold through the Okavango Diamond Company.
The agreement also marked the start of the migration of De Beers’ sales and aggregation operations from London to Gaborone, Botswana.
The agreement originally was set to expire at the end of 2020 but was extended for a year to December 2021 because of travel complications associated with COVID-19.
It was then pushed back again, this time for six months.
In announcing the latest extension, De Beers said it will “enable the finalization of the ongoing discussions,” while noting “further positive progress” toward a new agreement.
The company declined further comment on the extension.
Retail sales of diamond jewelry have been breaking records worldwide since the onset of the pandemic, sending rough diamond sales soaring for De Beers.
The company saw rough diamond sales climb to $4.9 billion in 2021, a 75 percent year-over-year increase.
To date this year, De Beers’ sales are pacing 24 percent ahead of last year amid bullish sentiment coming out of the Las Vegas trade shows, though some analysts say diamond jewelry sales have begun to slow at the consumer level.
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