Jun 18, 2019

Botswana President Initiates Bid to Acquire Shares in Lucara

According to a report in The Botswana Gazette, the country’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi has “opened negotiations” with Lucara Diamond Corporation to acquire shares for the Botswana Government in the diamond producer which owns the Karowe Mine in Botswana; and is the producer of some high value diamonds, including the 1,109 carat Lesedi La Rona and the 813 carat Constellation.

The President is said to have met with founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Lucara, Eira Thomas at the recently held JCK  Las Vegas Show.

“I have proposed for Lucara to allow government to invest in the company,” The Botswana Gazette quoted Masisi as saying. He further added that he would be discussing the matter with his cabinet and relevant authorities to put into motion the process for the necessary clearances.

The President, referring to the high value potential of Karowe diamonds, is also reported to have said to The Botswana Gazette: “As a country we could benefit from such value.”   

At this point of time, no information on financials are available – not even the size of stake the Botswana government will take, if all goes well, and both sides agree to the buy in.    

Ironically, the Botswana government, had earlier held an interest in the Karowe Mine through its stake in De Beers, which earlier was part owner of the project.

It was in December 2009 that Lucara acquired a 70 per cent stake in the AK6 project (as the Karowe Mine was earlier known) from De Beers Prospecting Botswana; and in December 2010 Lucara acquired African Diamonds (the other stakeholder in Karowe) to finally get 100 per cent control of the asset.