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Namibia Mulling Diamond Sales Without De Beers

Jun 18, 2014 4:16 AM   By Avi Krawitz
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RAPAPORT... Namibia is considering establishing a company to sell diamonds outside of the De Beers framework that is currently in place.

“Our diamonds are sold through a joint venture with De Beers but we are considering setting up a company through which we will be able to sell our gems directly to the trade,” Isak Katali, Namibia’s Minister of Mines and Energy, said at the World Diamond Congress meeting in Antwerp.

Katali, pictured, noted that the government is still in the negotiation stage to set up the company. He explained that the idea is to give diamond dealers and manufacturers an opportunity to buy diamonds directly from Namibia.

Diamonds are mined in Namibia by Namdeb, which is a joint venture between the government and De Beers. Namdeb production is sent to De Beers sorting facilities in Botswana and mixed with other De Beers goods, after which 10 percent of Namdeb’s total is returned to Namibia to be sold to approximately 12 local sightholders via the Namibia Diamond Trading Company (NDTC).

Namibia is hoping to develop its diamond industry beyond mining to enable job creation in cutting and polishing and now trading. The new state-run trading company would mirror the recent establishment of the Okavango Diamond Company in Botswana, which began selling a portion of Botswana’s production independently of De Beers in 2013.

Namdeb’s production rose 6 percent year on year to 1.762 million carats in 2013, accounting for about 6 percent of De Beers total production. 
Tags: Avi Krawitz, De Beers, diamonds, Namibia, Rapaport
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