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Diamond sales at Botswana's Debswana hit record high in 2022

Kitco News

GABORONE, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Rough diamond sales by Debswana Diamond Company reached record levels in 2022, data showed on Tuesday, as Western buyers shunned Russian stones and Botswana profited from steady global demand for diamond jewellery.

A joint venture between Anglo American unit De Beers and Botswana's government, Debswana sells 75% of its output to De Beers with the balance taken up by the state-owned Okavango Diamond Company. Sales of diamonds from Debswana stood at $4.588 billion in 2022 compared to $3.466 billion in 2021, the central bank data showed. In Botswana's currency, Debswana's rough diamond sales rose 48.3% to 56.544 billion pula, reflecting a stronger dollar in the period.

Debswana accounts for almost all diamonds produced in Botswana, with Lucara's Karowe mine being the only other operating diamond mine in the country. Botswana generates about 30% of its revenue and 70% of its foreign exchange earnings from diamonds.

Due to the strong performance of its diamonds, the country recorded a 66% jump in mineral revenues in the first six months of the fiscal year ending in March, leading to a 0.55% budget surplus in the period, according to the ministry of finance. Finance Minister Peggy Serame is expected to update the figures when she presents the 2023/24 budget on Monday.

(Reporting by Brian Benza; Editing by Anait Miridzhanian and Ben Dangerfield)

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