Google+ The Daily Jewel: De Beers To Start Diamond Sorting In Botswana


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

De Beers To Start Diamond Sorting In Botswana

De Beers CEO Philippe Mellier (L), Bank of Botswana Gov. Linah Mohohlo (C)
and Diamond Trading Company CEO Varda Shine (AFP, Monirul Bhuiyan)

GABORONE — The world's leading producer of diamonds De Beers on Tuesday began rough stone sorting in Botswana, a first step in its transfer from London to Gaborone.
Rough stone sorting or aggregation operations have been based in London for nearly 80 years.
De Beers chief executive officer Philippe Mellier told reporters here it was the first step in a process that should be complete by the end of 2013.
Mellier said the move would transform Botswana into a leading international centre, with about $6 billion worth of diamonds expected to flow through the country.
He added that the diamond market remained challenging in the short term, but was nonetheless an exciting time for Botswana to build on its rightful position as a leading diamond producing country.
Botswana and De Beers in September 2011 signed a 10-year deal to move its rough stone sorting and trading division from London to Gaborone.
"By shifting the center of gravity of the diamond world here, we are bringing in more economic activity, more skills and more broad-based business opportunities to the country," said Ponatshego Kedikilwe, vice president and minister of minerals, energy and water resources for Botswana."   via FOX Business

Since it started mining diamonds in the early 1970s, Debswana -- a company equally owned by Botswana's government and De Beers -- has been selling its diamonds exclusively to De Beers, who in turn shipped the diamonds to London for sale to customers.
Under the deal, Botswana will for the first time directly sell 10 percent of gem stones manufactured locally while De Beers will also increase the value of diamonds it makes available to manufacturing companies in the country to $800 million a year from the current $550 million.

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