- Latest Lucara find puts Botswana at the top of the leader board of the world’s 10 largest stones
- Select 10 from BIUST to become “the best in the diamond space”
- Minister Lefoko urges Batswana to patent their mining technologies
- President wants Batswana to tell the diamond story because it is their story
President Mokgweetsi Masisi has called for involvement of young people in copywriting, documenting and marketing of diamonds, The Botswana Gazette has established.
This is because the President believes that Batswana must have a stake in telling the diamond story, especially at a time in the future when the important commodity will have been depleted.
Speaking at the unveiling of the latest discovery of Lucara Diamonds at State House recently, Masisi looked at the massive 1174-carat gem and called on the diamond sector to ensure that young Batswana are a part of the ensemble that captures the journey of the luxury stone wherever such finds are marketed.
“In the narrative being developed, which is uniquely Botswana, we’d also want our young people to participate in the documentation, copywriting, patenting and marketing,” the President said. “Because diamonds are finite, I would desire – for the sake of Botswana – that even after diamonds are exhausted, the diamond story remains a Botswana product.”
The President disclosed that the government and technology company HB Antwerp, which has partnered with Lucara Diamonds to polish its large stones, will select 10 students of Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) to go and learn at the company for three to six months. Masisi said the initiative will be transparent and will start immediately.
“We want the best young people to enjoy the best opportunities,” the President noted. “Thus HB Antwerp and I have pledged to deliver 10 of the most talented and skilled in the discipline to go to Antwerp for three to six months, fully accommodated by HB and some assistance from the Office of the President. They are going to be under the instruction of HB, to learn to be the best in the diamond space.”
Speaking at the same occasion, the Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, Lefoko Moagi, called on local engineers to patent some of their works in the development of key technologies that have led to results such as large diamond finds in mines, including Lucara.
The minister said this knowledge can also become a commodity of the country with the engineers able to sell the expertise to other parts of the world. “We just can’t let this intellectual property go to waste,” Moagi noted. “I urge engineers to patent this technology for ourselves here in Botswana. Botswana, with a rich history of mining diamonds for over 50 years, must really take its position on the global stage.”
The Managing Director of Lucara Diamonds Botswana, Naseem Lahri, said their latest find puts Botswana at the top of leaders with the largest diamonds in the world, thanks to large diamonds discovered at its Karowe Mine. Many positions in the top 10 are occupied by Canada, Lahri added. She credited Lucara’s “luck” in finding huge diamonds to its XRT technology, which was first used in Botswana.
“Botswana is in the top of the leader board of the 10 largest stones,” she said. “We take positions 2 to 6, and that is 60 percent of the volume of diamonds in the top 10. The majority of them are by Lucara Botswana with the exception of one, being the Debswana diamond recovered recently at 1098.”