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DeBeers in Talks With Botswana

FILE - Diamonds are displayed at the De Beers Global Sightholder Sales (GSS) in Gaborone, Botswana, Nov. 24, 2015.

Diamond giant De Beers said on Thursday it was confident talks to renew a sales deal with Botswana would deliver a "win-win outcome", after the country's president threatened to cut ties with the company.

"We are confident that the negotiations will yield a win-win outcome," De Beers' executive vice president Paul Rowley told a press conference in Gaborone.

Earlier this month, President Mokgweetsi Masisi said the country had been receiving less than it "should get" under a 2011 agreement, which is being renegotiated.

Last week, as he kickstarted the campaign for the 2024 legislative election, Masisi said he was ready to walk away from the table if a "win-win situation" was not reached.

Under the 2011 agreement De Beers sold 90 percent of diamonds while Botswana auctioned 10 percent through its Okavango Diamond Company. In 2020, Botswana's share was raised to 25 percent.

The sales agreement currently governing terms for the marketing of diamonds produced by Debswana - a 50-50 joint venture between the government and De Beers, which auctions most of the gemstones - was set to end in 2021.

It was extended by the parties citing the outbreak of coronavirus as the reason for the delay to conclude negotiations and it will run through June 30, 2023.

Botswana is Africa's leading diamond producer.