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Botswana refuses to share details of De Beers talks

A decision by the Botswana government to refuse to share the details of its negotiations with diamond mining giant De Beers has raised eyebrows, APA learnt Thursday.Appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Minerals Resources, Cornelius Dekop said some aspects of the discussions are yet to be finalized on the Botswana’s government side.

He said they would negotiate in good faith for the benefit of the country.

“We still have to explore all options as this issue is the backbone of the Botswana’s economy. The discussion is confidential and I’m restricted regarding sharing the information of the upcoming Botswana-De Beers negotiations on diamond sales agreements,” he said.

The current 10-year deal between De Beers and Botswana expires in 2020.

Most of Botswana’s gems are mined by Debswana, a 50-50 joint venture between the government and De Beers.

Anglo American owns 85 percent of De Beers, with Botswana’s government holding the balance.

De Beers sells diamonds at invitation-only sights held 10 times a year at its offices in Botswana.

The company sets the prices and its handpicked customers, known as sightholders, are not able to negotiate.

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