In an exclusive interview with The Parrot News Online, Lucara Diamond Company Managing Director Naseem Lahri has told this publication that they (Lucara) have opened their doors for Batswana to own part of the diamond company.
The Moshupa born Managing Director said for them to list their company in the stock market, they were trying by all means to bring the diamond company close to an ordinary Motswana so that they (Batswana) can further benefit from it. “We are a publicly listed company so Batswana can participate in ownership by buying shares,” she said.
Giving an estimation of one share, Lahri said it is around 88 Canadian cent depending on the market price on the day.
Lahri further said as Lucara they do not just want to only mine diamonds in Botswana but also to ensure that an ordinary Motswana benefits from the precious stones.
She explained that at Lucara there is 10% of gross sales that they pay as royalties to the government.
She further said as Lucara since government does not own part of Lucara they do not pay a normal tax rate. “Normal companies that are in partnership with government in the likes of Debswana have a normal tax rate of 22%, we however pay up to about 55%.
“We haven’t reached our threshold yet of 55% we have only reached about 43% in previous years,” Lahri.
Quizzed if she does not view synthetic diamonds as a threat to the diamond commerce, Lahri expressed confidence on naturally mined precious stones saying synthetics are no way going to be a threat to the diamonds business.
“You see when you buy a diamond there are feelings attached to it, specifically because you know what a diamond does, let me bring it home, a diamond has changed many lives here so that is what a real diamond does not synthetics, ” said Naseem Lahri.