De Beers will be moving sales from their headquarters in London to Gaborone, Botswana. The decision was made back in 2011 and since then De Beers has been in negations with the country, a destination that is home to some of the richest diamond-producing mines in the world. The move, which will cost over $120 million, will shift the over $6 billion in annual market sales from London to Botswana, and consists of a 10 year contract between De Beers and their government.
The shift is seen in a positive light by some as a way for De Beers to not only have ease of access to gems and mining, but also to their diamond sorting and aggregation businesses which have already been relocated to Gaborone. Others see this as the end of not only a legacy, but as a potential future challenge to the company, noting that tying their business directly with the Botswana mines, could be detrimental considering they also have mines in Namibia, South Africa and Canada. These difficulties come in addition to problems that may be prevalent with visas, flights and hotels in a developing country.
"The Botswana government did not come to De Beers and say please transfer your business. The Botswana government said we would like you to sell the Botswana diamonds here," said Varda Shine, head of De Beers' Global Sightholder Sales. This week's diamonds sales will be the last for De Beers in London.