A 1098 carat diamond was discovered in Botswana earlier this month. This is excellent news for the country, which is counting on the mining sector to contribute to its development.
It is the third largest diamond found in the world, after the 3106-carat Cullinan in South Africa, and the 1109-carat Lesedi de Rona (Our Light in the local language), also found in Botswana. The price of this new diamond should be evaluated in the coming weeks.
A find that benefits the local population
It was the mining company Debswana, owned by the government of Botswana and the South African diamond company De Beers, member of Natural Diamond Council, which announced the discovery of this diamond. Debswana said it was “working with the Government of the Republic of Botswana and De Beers to evaluate and sell the diamond to ensure that it provides maximum benefit to the people of Botswana.
For the Natural Diamond Council, – organization that promotes interest in diamonds by highlighting the timelessness and uniqueness of this natural stone – this diamond represents an opportunity to prove that people, respect for their work, and social and economic progress are at the heart of the concerns of those involved in diamond mining.
Development of the country’s infrastructure
Debswana has brought many benefits to the people of Botswana. Botswana has been able to use the diamond as a lasting positive legacy. Before the development of mining, there were only three secondary schools in the country, compared to 300 today.
Another example: until the diamond discoveries, Botswana had only one doctor for every 48,000 people, now there is one for every 3,000 people. There were also only five kilometers of paved roads in the country, compared to about 6,000 kilometers today.
This has also led to the creation of new infrastructures for the country. Several partnerships have been made by the De Beers Group and others members of Natural Diamond Council for education in Botswana. In 2018, for example, they donated several million dollars to UN Women for a capacity building program to help 1,200 women micro-entrepreneurs in Botswana. A program that today has been expanded, with the goal of supporting 10,000 Botswana women self-entrepreneurs by 2030.
Debswana: a major contributor to the economy
Since Botswana’s independence, the management of the diamond resource by the government and De Beers has transformed the country. This partnership generates more than $4 billion in value for the Botswana economy, or more than 25% of GDP. In addition, 80% of pre-tax profits are returned to the Botswana government. Today, 34,000 Botswana nationals work for the joint venture, representing one in twenty jobs.
Botswana has gone from being one of the poorest nations in the world to a modern, upper-middle income country.
Read also > CHRISTIE’S : 100 CARAT DIAMOND TO BE SOLD SOON
Featured photo : © Natural Diamond Council – Debswana
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