Botswana's government has warned it might not be able to renew a crucial sales agreement with De Beers before the end of the year as lockdown measures have delayed negotiations.
The ten-year sales agreement, which expires at the end of December, is necessary for Debswana - a joint venture between the southern African nation and the leading diamond producer.
The company provides Botswana with around two thirds of its foreign exchange and a fifth of its GDP and is also the source of 70% of De Beers' diamonds and 90% of its sales.
But Mmetla Masire, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Minerals, said that though negotiations have resumed progress has been slowed by travel restrictions.
De Beers, which is part of Anglo American, said it could continue to operate under the existing agreement temporarily in the event of a delay.
But such a hold-up would also set back President Mokgweetsi Masisi's efforts to create jobs in a country with high unemployment.