Botswana ‘s economic nucleus, Debswana, a 50/50 joint venture between Government and De Beers Group has registered a massive rise in diamond sales during the year 2021.
Preliminary financial figures for the year 2021 featuring major players and indicators inthe economy of Botswana released by Bank of Botswana last week reveal that the value of Debswana’s rough diamond sales over the course of 2021 registered P38.1 billion, 60.7 percent higher than in 2020 (P23.7 billion).
The surge in sales was bolstered by the impressive recovery in the demand of rough diamonds, following the relaxation of movement restrictions in key consumer markets.
Inthe year 2020 diamond trade was significantly hampered by global travel restrictions and lockdown across key markets and shut down of major cutting & polishing firms.
Jwaneng Mine, the world’s most richest by value and Debswana ‘s largest revenue contributor continued to deliver the magic inthe year 2021, anchoring the company ‘s production to almost pre covid pandemic levels, just 2 million carats short of the 2019 output of 24 million carats and about 6 million carats more than 2020’s 16 million carats.
In 2020 Debswana a 50/50 joint venture between Botswana Government and global diamond behemoth De Beers Group, slowed down production in response to lower demand and subdued trade across the value chain.
Debswana closed the year 2021 on a higher note with production increasing by 23% to 5.2 million carats in the last quarter of the year, primarily as a result of the planned treatment of higher grade ore at Jwaneng, albeit partly offset by lower production at Orapa due to the planned closure of Plant 1 in late 2020.
The Orapa No. 1 plant, which started operating in 1972 was permanently shut down due to low profitability, structural deterioration that presents increasing challenges regarding safety management, as well as high expenditure on structural repairs and operating costs