The Minerals Development Company Botswana (MDCB) is currently conducting due diligence on a possible stake in Lucara Diamond, which owns the Karowe Mine.
This comes after Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi said last month that he had proposed for Lucara to allow Gaborone to invest in the company.
“We want to see whether the offer can be viable because we don’t want government to get into unnecessary debts,” Botswana mineral resources minister Eric Molale was quoted as saying by BusinessWeek.
“We have not progressed anything thus far.”
Unnamed analysts cited by the newspaper said Botswana’s decision to consider acquiring a stake in Lucara was a bit late as Karowe is left with a few years before ending open pit operations.
“The thinking could be to cash in on the profits to be made now because by 2026, Karowe will be going underground where costs are higher and tricky variables are plenty,” said the analyst.
“It would have made sense to move in a few years ago, but by that time, Lucara’s value was at record highs after Lesedi and Constellation.
“Getting in prior to Lesedi and Constellation would have been a risk of taxpayer monies as no one would have predicted the two big stones’ discoveries.”
Lucara recently recovered a 1,758 carat diamond from Karowe, which was the world’s second largest diamond after the 3,106-carat Cullinan diamond, recovered in South Africa in 1905.
Its 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona diamond, unearthed in 2015 from the same Botswana mine, held the record as the second largest diamond in recorded history until the latest recovery.
Image credit: Lucara