Sunday, June 4, 2023

Botswana’s Government and HB Antwerp Partner to Make Diamond Mining More Transparent

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HB Antwerp, a diamond trading company building a mineral infrastructure that redefines the way minerals value chain, has opened its first branch outside Antwerp in Botswana.

HB Antwerp says the move into Botswana is part of its strategic partnership with the Government of Botswana, which is acquiring a 24 percent equity stake in HB Antwerp.

“The HB Botswana facility in Botswana is the realization of close collaboration and partnership between the government of the Republic of Botswana and HB Antwerp,” said President Masisi, at the Inauguration event earlier today. “We are forging a brighter future for the next generation of Botswana, taking unprecedented ownership over our natural resources to realize their potential for our nation’s sustainable development fully.”

The opening of HB Botswana fulfills the company’s promise to bring its novel technologies to Botswana, supporting the country’s transformation into a diamond knowledge center. Located at the Diamond Technology Park in Gaborone, the facility is closely modeled on its Antwerp operations.

Handling a rough diamond
Handling a rough diamond | Courtesy HB Antwerp

“Our success has come — and will continue to come — from our fearless willingness to challenge every aspect of the way things have been done to date and to recognize value where others have overlooked it,” said Rafael Papismedov, Co-founder of HB Antwerp.

HB Botswana will be led by locals and will strive to maintain gender parity among its employees. The HB Academy, an internal training institute, will teach future HB team members all the technical skills needed to operate this high-tech facility. HB aims to grow its Botswana presence to 485 employees by 2026 and further position the company as the employer of choice in Botswana.

In addition to the strategic partnership, the Government of Botswana, through its rough diamond trading company, Okavango Diamond Company (ODC), will supply rough diamonds to HB Botswana, HB Antwerp’s local subsidiary, for five years, with all the value-add to take place in Botswana.

During the inauguration, HB also announced it will open a larger and more advanced facility at the Botswana Innovation Hub, scaling the company’s impact by as much as ten times. The Hub is an architectural marvel, constructed with the most cutting-edge green technology available and houses a wide range of initiatives in technology incubation, education, and scientific research.

Mapping diamond mines
Mapping diamond mines | Courtesy HB Antwerp

The move into Botswana is part of HB Antwerp’s ongoing commitment to innovation, said Papismedov. “Our success has always been based on our ability to innovate and think outside the box,” he said. “With the launch of HB Botswana, we are taking another important step forward in our quest to transform the diamond industry.”

Botswana is the world’s largest producer of diamonds by value and has an established diamond industry. HB Antwerp’s move into Botswana will help the country continue to develop as a diamond knowledge center, said President Masisi. “We are forging a brighter future for the next generation of Botswana, taking unprecedented ownership over our natural resources to realize their potential for our nation’s sustainable development fully,” he said.

HB Antwerp’s closed-loop ecosystem introduces a comprehensive digital trail across the complete value chain, from raw minerals to finished results, ensuring verifiable and immutable data. The move into Botswana is part of HB Antwerp’s ongoing commitment to innovation and its mission to revolutionize the diamond industry.

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