Okavango Diamond Company, the Botswana Government owned company that’s markets and sells 25 percent of Debswana production says it has now cut its teeth enough to expand its uptake.
On Monday ODC Managing Director Mmetla Masire hinted the company ‘s expansion ambitions.
He said ODC had proven beyond reasonable doubt over the years, even during the turbulent times of COVID pandemic that it is a key player inthe global diamond business.
Established in 2012, ODC started operating in 2013 with 12 percent allocation from Debswana production, then started receiving 15 percent in 2016. In 2020 the company ‘s allocation was increased to 25 percent.
“Currently we depend on a single supply source, which is Debswana production through Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTCB) channel, but we are saying looking at the expansion of our facilities , and offices, we think we have capacity to handle more diamonds from other suppliers, not just Debswana.” Mmetla Masire said on Monday
The ODC Chief explained that the company is positioning itself to be a major regional and global player inthe natural diamond marketing and sales space” We can offer ourself as a platform in terms of capacity that can handle more diamonds than what we getting from Debswana, we are ready and willing”
He said part of ODC strategy is to see how the company can attract other producers countries and companies.
“We can do it at a national level or company level, in some instances we will be engaging our shareholder, Government for courting and attracting other producer countries”
Mr Masire further explained that ODC as a business is open to doing business with anyone reputable and meeting global standards. ” We are available to source diamonds from anyone who meets our standards and set parameters of doing business, remember the allocation we get from Debswana through DTCB is not for free, we buy those diamonds, so with our expanding capacity we can buy diamonds from anyone who meets our parameters of doing business, we are positioning ourself as a major player in this industry “
In terms of citizen economic Inclusion into the diamond business Mmetla Masire shared that Okavango Diamond was in talks with different stakeholders to make it easy for citizens to participate.
” We are at preliminary engagements to see how we can support Batswana, through mentorship and incubation because diamond business is a high capital intensive enterprise, so we want to see willing Batswana through and got step by step with them.
Since inception Okavango Diamond Company has sold over 23 million carats of rough diamonds clocking sales revenue of more than US$3.8 billion and has done business with over 500 customers.
ODC Board Chair Dr Gape Kaboyakgosi explained that “ODC has proven to be an agile organisation that can pivot in line with prevailing operating conditions. The impact of COVID-19 on the whole world and the operations of the global diamond market couldn’t have been foreseen and yet ODC has managed to not only survive the pandemic but to thrive with record sales volumes.”
ODC earned US$110 million during its October Spot Auction sale which coincided with the company’s participation at the world-acclaimed EXPO 2020 Dubai. Prior to the October sale, ODC’s September Spot Auction sale generated US$123 million.
The September 2021 sale is said to represents the largest one-day Diamond Auction sale ever conducted for rough natural diamonds, however, ODC recently broke theSeptember record again.
Okavango Diamond Company (ODC) is a rough diamond marketing company that is wholly owned by the Botswana Government.
ODC, which was launched in 2013, and has quickly emerged as one of the leading,
global suppliers of responsibly sourced natural diamonds.
The company offers its customers the largest supply of natural rough diamonds exclusively of Botswana origin. ODC obtains its rough diamond’s directly from Debswana, whose Diamond mining operations are located
across Botswana in Orapa, Letlhakane, Damtshaa, and Jwaneng mines.
Thereafter rough diamonds are sold
through ODC’s transparent online auctions to a global customer base who ultimately polish diamonds and produce diamond jewellery destined for the world’s largest consumer markets.