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Botswana ships polished diamonds as it eases lockdown

19 may 2020

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Interior of DTC Botswana building                                                                                  Image credit: DTC Botswana

The mining industry in Botswana is starting to get back to normal operating conditions following a lockdown to control the spreading of coronavirus, according to a senior government official.
Ministry of mineral resources permanent secretary Mmetla Masire was quoted by the local media as saying that the country exported polished diamonds last week.
He could not shed more light on the quantity of diamonds exported and to which destination.
Masire confirmed that the Diamond Trading Company Botswana, Diamond Hub and Debswana had resumed their operations.
He said about 70% of mining workers had returned to work.
"So the total workforce has gone up from 9 000 to 13 200, all in all the mining sector will be operating reasonably well," he said.
Meanwhile, the acting permanent secretary in the ministry of infrastructure Bareng Malatsi said the resumption of work was based on disease control measures, but the country will revert to lockdown should cases of covid-19 spike.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished