De Beers extends 10-yr Botswana sales deal on coronavirus delays

15th December 2020 By: Reuters

LONDON – Diamond miner De Beers said on Tuesday it had extended a ten-year sales agreement with Botswana by a year due to logistical challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic, allowing the two sides more time to negotiate.

The Anglo American unit, which is 15% owned by the government of Botswana, saw sales plummet during the peak of the pandemic, forcing it to restructure its business.

The 2011 rough diamond sales agreement, in which the jointly-owned Debswana sells all its output to De Beers, was originally due to expire at the end of 2020 but has now been extended to the end of next year, De Beers said in a statement.

"The extension, which will extend the terms of the existing agreement, will provide further time for discussions regarding the contract renewal," the miner said.

Diamond sales have rebounded from this year's trough as lockdowns eased and the high sales season of the December festive season approached, De Beers said in November.