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Botswana Proposes Lucara Investment

Owning part of the business would benefit the country, government says.
Jun 24, 2019 6:11 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... The government of Botswana is said to have expressed interest in buying shares in Lucara Diamond Corp., the owner of the country’s high-value Karowe diamond mine.

“I have proposed…Lucara allow [the] government to invest in the company,” President Mokgweetsi Masisi told the Botswana Gazette. “As a country, we would benefit from such value.”

Lucara CEO Eira Thomas and Masisi met for a private discussion at a trade show earlier this month, during which the president raised the idea.

“Lucara was pleased to have the opportunity to meet with President Mokgweetsi Masisi at the JCK conference in Las Vegas,” the miner told Rapaport News last week. “[We] are unable to comment on the intentions of President Masisi or the Republic of Botswana. Lucara and its subsidiary, Lucara Botswana, continue to enjoy a very positive relationship with the Republic of Botswana, and we meet and discuss new opportunities and initiatives with government representatives on an ongoing basis.”

While Masisi did not reveal how much the government intended to invest, he mentioned that he would discuss the possibility with his cabinet and all relevant authorities. The Botswana government previously held a stake in Karowe, then known as AK6, when De Beers owned it.

Lucara bought Karowe from De Beers in 2009. It has extracted several large stones from the mine, including the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona and the 813-carat Constellation.

Image: The Karowe mine. (Lucara Diamond Corp.)
Tags: Constellation, De Beers, Eira Thomas, JCK Las Vegas, Karowe diamond mine, Lesedi La Rona, lucara, Lucara Diamond Corp., Mokgweetsi Masisi, Rapaport News
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