Botswana has designated BWP 890 million ($65 million) from its new fiscal 2024-2025 budget for the purchase of a 24% stake in Belgian manufacturer HB Antwerp.
The deal, which it first announced in March, calls for the African country to supply rough from state-owned Okavango Diamond Company (ODC) to HB Botswana for five years. The partnership would operate in a similar fashion to HB’s previous supply deal with Lucara Diamond Corp, enabling Botswana to retain a share of the polished profits.
Lucara terminated its rough-supply agreement with HB in September, citing a “material breach of financial commitments” by the Belgian manufacturer as the reason for the split. That decision came on the heels of HB’s departure from cofounder and managing partner Oded Mansori, whom it has since reinstated to his original role.
There was media speculation late last year that the Botswana government was pressuring Lucara to reconnect with HB, and that the split could affect Botswana’s interest in the manufacturer. Lucara owns the Karowe mine in Botswana. The miner has since announced that it planned to form new supply deals with other vendors.
Main image: Rough diamonds. (HB Antwerp)