07 Nov An industry leader with exciting growth plans
Diamond Trading Company Botswana hopes to significantly expand operations by working with international mining companies
From the moment that geologists first discovered diamonds in Botswana, the country’s diamond industry has become one of Africa’s biggest economic success stories. And one of the companies that has a major role to play in this thriving sector is Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTC Botswana), a 50/50 joint venture between the government and De Beers Group.
The largest and most sophisticated rough diamond sorting and valuing operation in the world, the company has the capacity to sort 45 million carats a year. It then sells them to Okavango Diamond Company and De Beers. Currently, all of the diamonds are sourced from Debswana Diamond Company, the world’s leading producer of diamonds by value, but there are plans to significantly expand operations by working with other mining companies.
“We are currently negotiating with another producer of diamonds and if all goes well, we will start working with them by the end of this year or early next year,” reveals Sedireng Serumola, Managing Director, DTC Botswana. “Ultimately, our vision is to be able to source diamonds coming from other countries in sub-Saharan Africa and the international market. Our facilities have excess capacity when it comes to diamond sorting technology and the requisite sorting and valuation skills.”
In addition to expanding its operations, DTC Botswana aims to become an industry leader through a number of intriguing development projects. One of the most exciting to date was the launch of the DTC Botswana Diamond Academy, a technical training establishment that also provides a holistic knowledge of the diamond industry.
“We have an important role to play in society which includes facilitating skills development and playing an active role in socio-economic development. Botswana is one of the top diamond-producing countries in the world. Critical to diamond production is value-chain growth and diamond beneficiation in Botswana is a national priority,” states Serumola. “There has been a question about where people can learn the basics of diamond sorting and valuation and the answer is at our fully-fledged academy. We have made it accessible to other industry players which will help us deliver skills development across the diamond sector.”
Dedicated to creating a vibrant, sustainable and profitable downstream diamond industry in Botswana, DTC Botswana also takes an active role in helping local communities in Botswana. This has included donating ICT gadgets such as tablets, robotics kits and drones to numerous schools, as well as sponsoring grassroots football initiatives.
“Through our social impact commitment, we have undertaken several initiatives to support the community, such as sponsoring women’s football in Botswana, which has traditionally struggled for backing,” says Serumola. “In fact, as a result of the sponsorship, some of these women are having trials outside Botswana.We’re also looking at education, which is hugely important for us. We have sponsored science, technology, engineering and mathematics initiatives as we want to give people the opportunity to get into these areas and further develop the country.”
Sustainability is another area that has come into focus with the government assessing ways in which it can cut down its carbon footprint. This has led to DTC Botswana investigating ways it can introduce sustainable methods in-house, as Serumola explains: “We have already installed solar PV panels on the roofs of our car park, along walkways and on top of our building. This allows us to operate our business off the national grid, therefore contributing significantly to carbon neutrality.
“Our vision is to be able to extend this to the wider community, targeting rural communities and providing them with solar connectivity, thus enabling them to undertake various economic activities that can transform their lives sustainably.”