HB Antwerp eyes Namibia rough diamond deal

May 20, 2023

Belgian gem processing firm HB Antwerp is seeking potential deals to process rough diamonds in African countries, including Namibia.

Namibia has hinted that it is looking at securing more revenue and share from local diamonds.

The Namibian government and De Beers Group have a 10-year sales agreement , which will lapse in 2026 and is the longest sales agreement ever signed between the two partners.

Rafael Papismedov, one of HB Antwerp’s co-founders, told Reuters that the gem trader has held initial talks and plans to enter serious negotiations with countries that are eager to elevate their industry governance status to the same level as Botswana.

Papismedov stated that increased supplies of rough diamonds could help HB Antwerp boost sales to over US$1 billion per annum in three to four years, up from under US$300 million last year.

This development follows the company's sales pact with Botswana, the world's leading diamond producer by value.

The government of Botswana has acquired a 24% equity stake in the diamond manufacturer HB Antwerp, a partnership that the country’s president described as a potential “game-changer.”

As part of the deal, the Botswana government is purchasing a 24% stake in HB Antwerp, and the state-owned Okavango Diamond Company will supply the gem trader and processing firm with an undisclosed quantity of rough diamonds for five years.

Founded in 2020, HB Antwerp has an existing agreement with another diamond mining company in Botswana, Lucara Diamond Corp.

The deal with Lucara Diamond Corp allows HB Antwerp to purchase gems of 10-carat quality and above from the Canadian producer's Karowe Mine in Botswana at prices based on the estimated polished outcome of each diamond.

Botswana is currently in negotiations with De Beers Group to renew a diamond sales and marketing agreement that was initially signed in 2011 and expires in June. 

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Last modified on Tuesday, 23 May 2023 20:20

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