De Beers and Namibia sign 10-year agreement

by Ina King (Potgieter)

De beers NamibiaDe Beers, a subsidiary of Anglo American, and the Namibian government have signed a 10-year sales agreement. Through Namdeb, De Beers and the Namibian government are granted equal rights to sort, value and sell diamonds for the next 10 years. Namdeb is one of Namibia’s largest taxpayers and the country’s biggest foreign exchange generator, contributing more than a fifth of Namibia’s foreign earnings.

As a result of the ten-year sales agreement, Namibia will see an increase in rough diamonds that are made available for beneficiation, and customers of Namibia Diamond Trading Company (NDTC) will receive $430 m of rough diamonds every year. In addition, the agreement states that all Namdeb’s special stones will be made available for sale in Namibia.

The deal provides for 15% of Namdeb’s run-of-mine production a year to be made available to a government-owned independent sales company called Namib Desert Diamonds.

“This sales agreement — the longest ever between Namibia and De Beers — not only secures long-term supply for De Beers, but also ensures that Namibia’s diamonds will continue to play a key role in national socioeconomic development long into the future,” comments De Beers CEO Philippe Mellier.

According to the Namibian Minister of Mines and Energy, Obeth Kandjoze: "This new agreement cements Namibia's position as an important international diamond player and will provide further stimulus to advance our downstream industry. De Beers and Namibia have a longstanding and successful partnership and I am pleased we will continue working together for the benefit of Namibia and the diamond industry.

“Diamonds can have a powerful and transformative effect on a country’s prospects when effectively managed and I commend our partners in government for their vision regarding the role of diamonds in national development,” concludes Mellier.

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