Home » HB Antwerp Leaders at Odds as Botswana Deal Approaches

HB Antwerp Leaders at Odds as Botswana Deal Approaches

by Adenike Adeodun

In a significant corporate development, leading diamond processor and trader HB Antwerp confirmed on Monday the removal of co-founder Oded Mansori from its managerial ranks, citing substantial disagreements over strategic direction. 

This comes at a crucial juncture as the company stands at the threshold of solidifying a significant sales deal with Botswana, the global titan in diamond production.

HB Antwerp has quickly risen to prominence in the diamond trade circuit, founded in 2020 by the trio of Oded Mansori, Shai de Toledo, and Rafael Papismedov. 

However, as reported by Mining Weekly, internal discords have reached a crescendo. “HB has ended Mr. Oded Mansori’s managerial responsibilities across the HB entities,” declared the Belgian firm, underscoring stark disparities in strategic insights and business methodologies.

Earlier this year, Botswana’s government, hailed as the world’s top diamond producer in terms of monetary value, declared its plans to buy a 24% stake in HB Antwerp. 

This deal stipulates that the state-run Okavango Diamond Company will supply HB with rough diamonds for the next five years. However, they have yet to finalise the agreement with signatures.

Mansori, renowned for his long-standing history in diamond trading, quickly voiced his dissatisfaction. Through a clear announcement, he firmly committed to defending his vision and championing the future success of HB. 

According to a report by Mining Weekly, He also mentioned initiating legal proceedings. While not delving into further details, he confirmed he still owns shares in the company.

HB Antwerp’s partnerships extend beyond the previously mentioned entities. The firm has formed a critical alliance with Lucara Diamond Corp. As part of this partnership, HB actively buys diamonds of 10 carats or more from the Karowe Mine, a property of the Toronto-listed miner in the heart of Botswana. 

The cost of these diamonds is based on the projected polished result of each stone. Lucara still needs to provide feedback on how Mansori’s departure and the related legal battle might affect its partnership with HB.

HB Antwerp launched a joint venture with technology powerhouse Microsoft in 2022, emphasising its forward-thinking approach. They are using blockchain technology to track mined gems meticulously. This step is a nod to today’s consumers, who demand a transparent supply chain free from deceit and diamonds that may fuel conflict.

HB Antwerp isn’t alone in this endeavor. Fellow industry members, including the notable De Beers under the Anglo-American umbrella, utilize blockchain systems to trace and authenticate their diamond products.

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