The board of directors at the state owned – Okavango Trading Company (ODC) has confirmed the departure of the company’s Managing Director – Marcus ter Haar.
Ter Haar resigned from the position under unclear circumstances last week after leading the company for the past seven years. Ter Haar was appointed the founding deputy Managing Director in 2013 and subsequently ascended to the top post in August 2017 after the departure of the then MD – Toby Frears.
Ter Haar’s career in the diamond sector has covered mining, sales, finance, operations and corporate functions. Before joining ODC in 2013, Ter Haar had worked for De Beers mining company.
“He leaves a solid team on the ground and the business in a good position for its future growth”, said Grace Muzila – acting board chairperson at ODC.
Muzila said that the board is working closely with the shareholders and the executive team to manage and ensure smooth transition during this change of management.
The ODC is a rough diamond selling company that was set up by the Botswana government more than seven years ago. The company offers a full range of Botswana’s diamonds at market determined prices. The ODC receives 15 percent of Debswana’s run of mine production.
Its executive management team changes come at a time when Botswana mining sector has been one of the hardest hit by the COVID 19 pandemic.
The diamond industry which was starting to show signs of recovery from the past challenging three years is being hampered by the outbreak of the coronavirus, dimming optimism and threatening to extend the diamond recession.
According to the physical volume of mining production compiled by Statistics Botswana in the second quarter of 2020, the index of mining production retreated to 30, reflecting a quarterly decrease of 64.6 percent and a year-on-year decline of 65.1 percent from the index of 85.9 registered during the second quarter of 2019. This was the biggest decline ever recorded in the mining activity since the decline of 91.6 percent recorded in the first quarter of 2009, when diamond registered zero production due to the economic recession.