De Beers seeking to cut costs with new machinery

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Diamond producers’ ideas include automatic diamond grading machines.

De Beers is seeking to cut costs and refine its working methods with the introduction of new machinery to its diamond mining operations.

The diamond producer will potentially cut down its human workforce as its "strives to become leaner and more flexible" in response to the volatile global trading environment.

As reported by Reuters yesterday, De Beers‘ owner Anglo American has just changed its own management and is in the middle of a three-month review. It is understood that the outcome of the report could include steps to improve De Beers’ performance in terms of value.

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De Beers chief executive Philippe Mellier and its senior executive Varda Shine said the company was floating a number of ideas to help streamline its operations including new machinery such as automatic diamond grading machines that would remove "the human element" in stone grading.

De Beers also hopes to introduce a screening machine by the end of the year that can detect synthetic stones among melee diamonds.

Shine said on Wednesday that De Beers is in the midst of "a big project" focused on integrating its various mining companies’ processes and systems together with a view to making its processes more flexible all the way through to sales.

According to Reuters both Shine and Mellier "shied away" from saying whether the review and consolidation would result in staff layoffs.
 

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