Okavango Diamond Company (ODC) has generated about P171 million from diamond auctioned in a pilot sale that was held between June 26 and July 5 20 13 in Gaborone.
The succesful pilot sale, according to the Managing Director of ODC, Toby Frears was of approximately 123,000 carats of Debswana diamond production.
Frears said the objective of the pilot sale was to test the core systems and processes that have been developed for auctioning rough diamonds in Gaborone, ahead of a full launch of commercial sales operations in September.
Around 50 local and international companies visited ODC’s new purpose built facility in Gaborone’s Diamond Technology Park during the pilot duration to inspect the diamond lots before taking part in the online auction sale.
“All diamond lots offered at the auction were sold, achieving a total value of approximately $20 million (BWP 171 million),” he said.
Frears who expressed optimism ahead of the September commercial sales operation launch said, “The pilot sale gave us the opportunity to test every aspect of ODC’s sales process in a live environment and to gather important feedback from our customers.
While the initial response from customers has been positive, we will continue to solicit feedback from all those that participated to ensure that valuable learnings are captured and any necessary enhancements can be made ahead of our full launch in September.”
ODC also announced that its inaugural sale will take place on October 9th with viewings of diamond lots scheduled to start on September 23rd.
“Diamond companies interested in becoming an ODC customer are now invited to email email@example.com for further details,” he said.
Meanwhile, Frears said ODC has been created to provide Botswana with its own sustainable, commercial diamond sales channel.
“It will provide government with greater insight into diamond market trends and, as part of the government’s broader strategy, will help to cement the country’s growing position and reputation as a leading centre for the production, sale and manufacture of diamonds,” he revealed.
The company was established following the renewal of the Debswana Sales Agreement between the Botswana Government and De Beers.
The Agreement provides for Government to purchase and sell 12% of Debswana’s production in 2013, rising to 15% by 2016.