Tuesday, September 29, 2020

High secretive sale of exceptional diamond

By Kabelo Seitshiro

The discovery of a rare super exceptional 41 carat blue diamond discovered at the Debswana Orapa Diamond Mine towards the of 2018 remains shrouded in secrecy.

Government has remained tight lipped on the sale of the precious stone estimated to be worth over $200 million (About P2 billion).

Information reaching this publication is that the blue diamond has secretly reached Okavango Diamond Company (ODC), led by Marcus ter Haar recently for sale.

It raises suspicions as to why the blue diamond, the first of its kind to be discovered in Botswana, not been revealed to the nation as with other precious stones before.

Diamond industry players and potential buyers are also surprised why Botswana Diamond Trading Company (DTCB), Debswana Diamond Company, and ODC have been mum on the discovery.  It is also not clear why other diamond buyers have not been given equal opportunity to buy the diamond through the process of auction sale. It also remains a mystery why the government does not see the need to share the good news with various global diamond news platforms.

“Only the President Eric Masisi was given the opportunity to view the blue diamond by the diamond park at the time,” said an anonymous source.

Contacted for comment on Friday afternoon, DTCB Corporate Communications Manager, Kago Mmopi did not confirm or deny the possession of the blue diamond. He then referred this publication to ODC. DTCB is a 50/50 Joint Venture partnership between the Government of the Botswana and De Beers Group. It is the world’s largest and most sophisticated rough diamond sorting and valuing company. DTC Botswana sorts and values Debswana Diamond Company’s rough diamond production.

For his comment over the phone on Friday after the referral by DTCB, ODC Managing Director, Marcus ter Haar was shocked to hear that the information was already in the public domain and classified it as sensitive information. He asked who the source was and further said, “this information is sensitive,” before demanding to be sent a questionnaire.  He did not show whether his superiors and shareholders would be willing to share this sensitive information. Later in the evening of Friday he indicated through email that, “I appreciate your imminent deadline but would be grateful for some time to consider your questions thoroughly.”

Over the years such kind of diamonds have fetched between $70 million and $200 million across the world. It is the First discovery of its kind in Botswana since independence in 1966.

According to “Worthy Diamonds” website, Blue diamonds have captured the world’s attention time and time again. They are quite rare and each is unique in terms of hue, clarity, carat weight and value.

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The Telegraph September 30

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 30, 2020.