Thursday, June 4, 2020

It’s a gem, blue and a rare find to cost a King’s ransom

BY KABELO SEITSHIRO

The Okavango Diamond Company (ODC) is undecided on which model to use to sell the mult-imillion Pula polished diamond named ‘The Okavango Blue’ discovered at the Debswana Diamond Company Orapa mine last year.

Available options are world tour with a potential to culminate in an auction sale live for the market’s highest bidder or private sales. The oval shaped blue diamond weighing over 20 carats is the biggest blue diamond discovery ever made in Botswana.

The ODC last week went public about their precious stone named Okavango Blue diamond almost a year after being shrouded in secrecy.

The rare super exceptional blue diamond was discovered at the Debswana Orapa Diamond Mine in 2018.  Since then, government remained tight lipped on the information of the precious stone which was discovered at Orapa mine as a 41.11 carat rough stone.

Last week the ODC managing director (MD) Marcus ter Haar told the media that the iconic Okavango Blue will be showcased over the coming months to promote Botswana as a leading global producer of natural ethical diamonds with an anticipated sale toward the end of the year.

Quizzed whether the ODC has plans to increase access to 15 percent of Debswana’s run-of-mine production, he stated that he is not the right person to respond to such inquiry and stated that it is the shareholder’s decision.

“Diamonds are gifts from the earth and we have been doing well since our establishment six years ago,” he said.

ODC is the largest source of guaranteed Botswana production in the market. Our diamonds are sourced from Debswana, Botswana’s flagship diamond mining company that accounts for 98% of Botswana’s diamond production.

He further stated that Botswana is fast being transformed into a leading global natural diamond trading and manufacturing centre, with strong emphasis placed on transparency, good governance, and the creation of broad-based business opportunities for the people of Botswana.

He stated that it is unique and a vibrant blue colour created by the molecular inclusion of the rare mineral boron which between 1-3 billion years ago was present in the rocks of ancient oceans during violent diamond forming volcanic activity.

“Diamonds are a key natural resource for Botswana, which is a global leader of ethically and responsibly sourced diamonds,” said ter Haar.

He observed that diamonds account for approximately half of government revenue and contribute to the economic growth and wellbeing of the entire country through employment creation, the funding of schools and hospitals and other critical infrastructure.

He is also of the view that consumers can purchase Botswana diamonds with a sense of pride knowing that these diamonds are improving the lives of the people of Botswana.

The ODC’s mandate is to provide government with a direct to route to market for rough diamonds and to support the ongoing transformation of Botswana into a leading rough sourcing destination

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