The De Beers Group of Companies has released its annual Report to Society highlighting an 11% increase in the total rough diamond sales used to support local communities, taking the total value to $1.56bn (£1bn).
According to an official report: “De Beers’ approach to beneficiation means that a proportion of the diamonds mined by the company and its partners is sold for processing to customers in its producer countries. In doing so, more of the value of the diamonds remains in country, thereby supporting the growth of local cutting, polishing and jewellery manufacturing industries.”
The 2014 Report to Society outlines the company’s progress in maximising the value of every carat mined and sold, while operating responsibility and sustainability. The Report focuses on five areas – ethics, economics, employees, communities and environment – and is accompanied by an assurance and Compliance Statement.
The Report also revealed that safety performance improved by 10% in 2014, significantly with no loss of life. Plus, De Beers spent $30.3m on health, education, housing and community development – an increase of $800,000 compared to 2013.
De Beers currently owns and manages over 195,000 hectares of land set aside for biodiversity and conservation. This equates to around seven hectares of land for every hectare affected by mining.
Philippe Mellier, chief executive officer of the De Beers Group, said: “2014 was a year of strong financial and operating performance for De Beers. But while I was encouraged by what we achieved, I was more encouraged by how we achieved it. Our investment in increasing standards in the diamond industry has clearly had a positive impact, and investment more generally is fundamental to the growth of our company and to the continued prosperity of our partners.”