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De Beers Shifts Aggregation to Botswana

Aug 14, 2012 10:59 AM   By Avi Krawitz
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RAPAPORT... De Beers has moved its aggregation department from London to Gaborone as part of the ‎gradual transfer of its Diamond Trading Company (DTC) operations to Botswana. ‎

‎“As De Beers shifts more and more of its sales operations to Botswana over the next ‎year, we will solidify the long-term future of the partnership and work to transform ‎Botswana into one of the world’s leading diamond trading and manufacturing hubs,” said ‎Philippe Mellier, De Beers chief executive. ‎

Aggregation is the process of mixing same category  of diamonds from De Beers global ‎operations in Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Canada, before they are prepared for  distribution to sightholders.‎

With aggregation now taking place at the DTC Botswana facility in Gaborone, De Beers ‎estimated that approximately $6 billion worth of diamonds will now flow through the ‎country. Until this week, aggregation had taken place in London for nearly 80 years, the ‎company explained.‎

The transfer of aggregation is part of DTC’s overall migration of its London sights and ‎sales operations to Gaborone, which is expected to be complete by the end of 2013. ‎

Essentially, from now until the transition is complete, the sight boxes will be created ‎in Gaborone and forwarded to the U.K. for distribution to the 66 London sightholders and ‎two Canadian sightholders. The appropriate boxes will be sent directly from Gaborone to ‎Johannesburg for the 10 South African sightholders and to Windhoek, the capital of ‎Namibia, for the 13 DTC Namibia sightholders, with the remainder staying in Gaborone ‎for DTC Botswana’s 21 sightholders.‎

The move was part of the sales agreement between De Beers and the Botswana ‎government signed last year and forms an integral part of governments plan to develop a ‎diamond trading hub in Gaborone. ‎

‎“This is a key milestone for the diamond industry in Botswana. 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 H.K. ‎Kedikilwe, the Vice President and Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources. “We are ‎also growing our international profile and establishing the kind of platform that all ‎economies need for sustainable growth and diversification.”  ‎

By the end of 2013, De Beers reported that more than $22 million (BWP 170 million) will have been invested  to have its DTCB building ready for the first sight in Gaborone.

Pictured above:‎ From left to right: Neo Moroka (resident director and chief executive of De Beers Botswana Holdings),  Kedikilwe, Mellier and Varda Shine, the chief executive of DTC.
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Tags: Avi Krawitz, Botswana, De Beers, Diamond Trading Company, diamonds, DTC, Rapaport
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