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Debswana’s Rough Diamond Sales Decline by 17% in H1 2023 Due to Lingering Demand Challenges

Gaborone, Botswana — Debswana, the prominent rough diamond mining entity, faced a 17% reduction in rough diamond sales during the initial half of this year, primarily attributed to persistent subdued demand within the market.

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Debswana, operating as a 50/50 joint venture between diamond industry titan De Beers and the Botswana government, successfully transacted 12.7 million carats, amounting to $2.179 billion in sales. This figure reflects a discernible decline from the corresponding period of the preceding year, when revenues stood at $2.622 billion, as reported by the Bank of Botswana.

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The recent trajectory marks a departure from the fruitful performance observed in 2022, a year characterized by Debswana’s robust surge in rough diamond sales, which witnessed a notable increase of nearly a quarter. This growth was primarily spurred by buyers’ preferences veering away from Russian-sourced diamonds.

Despite achieving a record-setting total revenue of $4.588 billion during that successful year, the contemporary landscape of market uncertainties has cast a shadow over Debswana’s sales performance in recent times.

Debswana, wielding authority over the majority of diamond mines in Botswana, plays a pivotal role in the nation’s diamond industry. The prevailing dynamics entail De Beers handling 75% of diamond sales, while the state-owned Okavango Diamond manages the remaining share.

In an agreement forged last month, a transformative arrangement was finalized, envisaging Okavango Diamond’s stake progressively increasing to 50% within the forthcoming decade. This strategic evolution holds the promise of reshaping the distribution landscape within Botswana’s diamond sector.

As Debswana navigates the complex currents of fluctuating market demand, industry stakeholders remain attentive to its strategic maneuvers and innovations that will likely shape the trajectory of this cornerstone of Botswana’s economy.

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