Botswana will begin to auction its share of the rough diamonds harvested by Debswana, the diamond company owned in equal parts by De Beers and the government of Botswana, Mmegi reported. Until now, all diamonds produced by Debswana were marketed via De Beers' Diamond Trading Company (DTC).
The government's share of Debswana's diamonds will be auctioned by the Okavango Diamond Company, starting in April 2013. According to the terms of a ten-year contract signed with De Beers in September 2011, Okavango will sell between 10% and 15% of Debswana's diamonds. The sum of Okavango's diamond sales are expected to reach approximately $300 - $350 million per year. Debswana's total sales are about $3 billion annually, according to Mmegi.
Okavango chair Jacob Thamage said that the company was hard at work preparing for the official launch of sales in the second quarter of 2013. Due to relatively lower per-carat prices for diamonds at present, Okavango's delayed launch may work in its favor economically.