Company’s new $35m facility hopes to establish diamond hub in Africa.
The De Beers Group has reported on a positive first international sight in Botswana, following the relocation of its Sightholder processes from London to Gaborone.
De Beers hosted the sight on Thursday November 14, with buyers from Tel Aviv, Mumbai, New York and Antwerp in attendance. It marked the first sight since the relocation from London, with De Beers describing "all systems and processes running smoothly". The company also reported strong demand at the sight ahead of the end of year selling season.
The sight took place at De Beers’ new US$35 million (£21.7m) state-of-the-art facility, which was completed ahead of schedule and below budget. The space has been supported by investment in Gaborone airport by the government of Botswana, which in turn has helped to improve entry to the country for Sightholders.
De Beers’ said the move to Botswana shows its "commitment to beneficiation", and is a major milestone in the development of Botswana’s downstream diamond industry. De Beers senior vice president of Sightholder sales Nigel Simson, said: “We and our partners in government have worked extremely hard to make this a success and I am very proud of what we have achieved.
"There was a real buzz of excitement on the sight floor and we are delighted to have had such a positive response from Sightholders. We will continue to seek improvements as we focus on establishing Botswana, and the broader southern African region, as one of the world’s major diamond hubs."
Sightholders are said to have voiced their approval of the facilities established in Gaborone, describing the ease of doing business in Botswana. One buyer from India said: "The sight floor is better than how it was in London and I am impressed that De Beers and Botswana have got everything in place so quickly”.