African Reps to Attend Israel Conference

Israel’s third International Rough Diamond Conference, to be held Feb. 11 – 12, 2008, at the Dan Panorama Hotel in Tel Aviv, will feature official delegations from most African diamond producing countries.

African representatives speaking include Angolan Minister of Geology and Mines Manuel Africano; Botswana Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources Ponatshego Kedikilwe; Liberian Minister of Land, Mines and Energy Eugene Shannon; and Democratic Republic of Congo Deputy Mining Minister Victor Kasongo. Each of the ministers will be accompanied by delegations of diamond mining officials from their respective countries.

This is in keeping with the Israel Diamond Institute’s declared goal of intensifying relations between The Israeli Diamond Industry and African diamond producing countries.

The participation of African governments will be in addition to speakers from the major companies engaged in diamond production, as well as several younger diamond exploration companies.

De Beers will be represented by Group managing director Gareth Penny and by DTC managing director Varda Shine. Senior officials from Gem Diamonds, Petra Diamonds, Shore Gold, Stornoway Diamond Corp., Stellar Diamonds, and Rockwell Diamonds have already confirmed participation.

In addition, participants will include leading figures from the world diamond industry and from centers in China, Brazil, Canada, and Israel.

“This is a very significant juncture for the rough diamond industry, coming only weeks after major changes in the industry that have created serious challenges for manufacturing centers around the world,” said IDI chairman Moti Ganz. “We chose to hold the conference at this time in order to explore ways to expand and augment current and future sources of rough supply.”