Botswana Asserts Protection of Diamond Interests Amid BHP’s Bid for Anglo American

Estimated read time 2 min read

In a strategic move echoing its commitment to safeguarding its diamond interests, Botswana, the globe’s largest diamond producer, has vowed to closely monitor BHP Billiton’s bid to acquire Anglo American. The latter controls Botswana’s diamond venture through the renowned De Beers entity.

President Mokgweetsi Masisi, speaking to CNBC Africa during the U.S.-Africa Business Summit in Dallas, Texas, emphasized Botswana’s stance, stating that while no formal approach had been made to Botswana regarding the matter, the government remained resolute in defending its interests in De Beers, of which it holds a significant 15 percent stake. De Beers, in partnership with the Botswana government, operates Debswana Diamond, the world’s largest diamond producer by value.

Masisi underscored the pivotal role of Botswana in the existence and success of De Beers, stating, “The value of De Beers is fundamentally created by Botswana. Without Botswana, De Beers doesn’t exist.”

Australian giant BHP Billiton, renowned as the largest miner globally, has tabled a substantial offer of approximately $39 billion for Anglo American’s copper mines, excluding its Botswana and South African assets encompassing Debswana, Kumba Iron Ore, and Anglo American Platinum. Despite BHP’s overture, Anglo has rebuffed the bid, contending that it undervalues its endeavors aimed at maximizing shareholder value.

Industry analysts speculate that BHP might be contemplating a follow-up bid and could potentially encounter competition from commodities heavyweight Glencore. South African Mines Minister Gwede Mantashe, following discussions with Anglo executives, has affirmed his keen observation of the unfolding developments, reiterating South Africa’s vested interest in the matter.

Mantashe emphasized, “We remain laser focused on the developments because we clearly are an interested party.” He reiterated the sentiment expressed by President Masisi, highlighting Botswana’s indispensable contribution to De Beers’ viability, stressing, “The value of De Beers is fundamentally created by Botswana. Because without Botswana, De Beers doesn’t exist.”

The unfolding saga between BHP Billiton and Anglo American, intricately intertwined with Botswana’s diamond interests, continues to captivate global attention, underscoring the complex dynamics inherent in the mining and commodities sector.

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours