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De Beers Launches Beneficiation Program

Jul 14, 2016 6:10 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... De Beers will supply rough to five historically disadvantaged South African diamond cutters in a new program that could result in the entrepreneurs attaining sightholder status.

“De Beers will provide bespoke rough diamond supply to the candidates, whilst they are part of the development program,” said Mpumi Zikalala, a senior vice-president of De Beers Sightholder Sales South Africa. “On completion, they can apply to become accredited buyers of De Beers before they are ultimately in a position to apply for sightholder status competing with other leading diamond companies around the world.”

The mining company has partnered with the government and the South African diamond-cutting industry to launch the ‘Enterprise Development Project for Diamond Beneficiators’ project in Johannesburg on Wednesday. In addition to supplying rough, the program will help participants learn about the industry and business, gain experience in purchasing rough, diamond manufacturing, as well as marketing and distribution of the resulting polished product.

While South Africa’s diamond-cutting industry has diminished in the past few years, De Beers stressed multiple stakeholders need to participate to make beneficiation succeed. As such, the program aims to facilitate the transformation and growth of the diamond cutting and polishing sector in South Africa, the company said.

“If, through this partnership, we can lay a successful platform for developing young beneficiators, then this project will go a long way towards creating a sustainable and meaningful diamond development pathway for other young local cutters and polishers for many years to come,” said Bruce Cleaver, De Beers chief executive officer.

The five Black Economic Empowerment companies chosen to participate in the program are Thoko’s Diamonds, African Diamonds, Nungu Diamonds, Kwame Diamonds, and Molefi Letsiki Diamond Holdings.
Tags: bee, beneficiation, De Beers, diamonds, Rapaport News, South Africa
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