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Mellier: We Deal With a Product of Enduring Value

Jan 25, 2012 9:07 AM   By Philippe Mellier
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RAPAPORT... The following transcript  was from a speech delivered to Diamond Trading Company sightholders in London this past evening by Philippe Mellier, the chief executive of De Beers Group.

Thank you Cynthia, and thank you Nicky. Along with Botswana, De Beers is very fortunate to have shareholders that are so passionate about our business.

I've been with De Beers for just over six months. Part of the reason I took the role in the first place was that I could see the opportunities that lay in front of us.

Today - six months later - I am even more excited about the future of our industry, the opportunities that are being created by a rapidly evolving market, and the future we can shape together.

But that future isn't pre-ordained. As new generations come of age, carrying new cultural and life experiences and expectations, we must work to ensure they discover a product with deep meaning, value and integrity. From exploration and mining to manufacturing, marketing and retail, this must be a joined up effort to deliver on one of the world's strongest consumer propositions.

Our industry has in the past, and can continue to, deliver on this proposition. And as the leaders of the industry, the people in this room will drive it forward to capture the opportunity in front of us. And those opportunities are real and tangible - as an example, within just three years, we expect China, India and the Gulf to equal the size of the U.S. market.

During the past six months I've travelled around De Beers' global operations, around the cutting centers and around the major consumer markets. I've seen many good things, and areas that could be improved. I've met with many of you and I'm looking forward to continuing our discussions over the coming months.

However, one thing from my travels was abundantly clear - we deal with a product of enduring value.

Everything we do - the way we mine it, sell it, and market it - is designed to preserve and enhance that value.

Varda, you and your team have done a very good job, not just over the past year, but during the past four years - working in a market of unprecedented volatility - by working with our sightholders as partners. Looking forward, in order to capture the growth in front of us, our success must be a shared success.

Thank you for joining us tonight and my best wishes to each of you for a safe and prosperous 2012.

And now, let me invite Varda Shine to the stage.

Thank you.

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