Diamond industry experiences growth
09 Mar 2023
Botswana’s diamond cutting and polishing industry has experienced significant growth over the past few years.
Presenting the Ministry of Minerals and Energy’s budget estimates for the 2023/2024 financial year on Wednesday, Minister Lefoko Moagi said the local industry boast 48 licensed diamond cutting and polishing companies, half of which were licensed last year and were at different stages of setting up.
Mr Moagi said there had also been an increase in employment with 4 001 employees registered as by January this year compared 2 332 employees registered the same period last year.
He also indicated that state-owned Okavango Diamond Company (ODC) had hugely leveraged on the curtailed diamond supply from Russia in the diamonds markets.
The company, he said supplied the diamond industry with over P16 billion (US$1.2 billion) worth of rough diamonds last year compared to over P12.9 billion (US$963 million) in 2021.
“The start of the Russia-Ukraine war created a new environment in the midstream as secondary rough diamond and polished diamond trading softened. The polished inventory increased as the midstream became uncertain regarding how retailers would scrutinize their purchases following US sanctions on Russia,” he said.
Mr Moagi stated that rough diamond sales thus remained robust and the positive supply and demand conditions continued to support polished price growth.
Also, he said the sanctions further led to a greater focus on provenance and supply chain transparency as the global rough diamond markets performed better last year compared to 2021.
“DeBeers supplied the industry with over P60.2 billion (US$4.3 billion) worth of rough diamonds last year, representing a 13 per cent increase over the 2021 sales,” he said.
Further, the minister said the local industry was supplied with over P15.4 billion (US$1.1billion) worth of rough diamonds last year reflecting 33 per cent increase over the 2021 supply of P10.1 billion (US$728 million).
Meanwhile, in the presentation of the ministry’s budget estimates, Minister Moagi thus requested for approval of over P364.1 million under recurrent budget and over P1.1 billion under the development estimates for the 2023/2024 financial year.
The development budget proposals, he said constituted for electricity generation, transmission and distribution, national security of petroleum supply as well as research and development of mining and mineral governance. ENDS
Source : BOPA
Author : Thato Mosinyi
Location : GABORONE
Event : PARLIAMENT
Date : 09 Mar 2023