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LGD threat to Botswana Economy : President Masisi

Lab grown diamonds are a threat to Botswana's economic lifeblood, says the country's president Mokgweetsi Masisi.

He was speaking to reporters ahead of the first phase in a $6bn project to extend the life of Jwaneng, its flagship diamond mine.

"If lab grown diamonds take our space, then you and I are finished," he said. He pledged to wage "a peaceful assault against lab grown diamonds, to give confidence to our partners and dampen any attraction to lab growns."

Three quarters of Debswana's production is currently sold by De Beers. But under a new deal agreed last June, the state-owned Okavango Diamond Company (ODC) will see its share increase over the next decade from 25 per cent to 50 per cent.

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