Botswana diamond update
His Excellence, President of Botswana, Seretse Khama Ian Khama gave an update on diamonds in his State of the Nation Address to the Fifth Session of the Tenth Parliament which was delivered beginning of this week.
He said that diamond markets have shown improvement but remain sluggish. At the end of September 2013, the average diamond price was 3% higher than for the same period in 2012. Carat sales and revenue for 2013 are forecast to be 20% and 17% above that of 2012. The Lerala and BK11 mines are still under care and maintenance, while the Ghaghoo Mine’s start up has been delayed and is now expected mid-2014. More encouraging has been the ongoing success of the new Karowe mine.
H.E continued saying that nickel and copper prices also declined during 2013. By the end of August 2013, the average sale price for nickel and copper were 13% and 8% lower than that of the whole of 2012. Gold price has also declined, in August 2013 being 14% below its 2012 average.
Khama also said that The Okavango Diamond Company conducted its first full scale sale in October 2013, in which 76 companies from all the world’s major diamond centres participated. Over 220 thousand carats were sold for P 343 million (USD 40.3 million). In addition, Boteti Mining Company, through their dual tender sales, sold over P 900 million (USD 106 million) worth of diamonds as at the end of September 2013.
Adding that the diamond cutting and polishing sector has continued to grow, employing 3651 as of August 2013. Eleven additional companies have been licensed, bringing the total number to 27.