We talked last week about De Beers’ plan to sell its “surplus rough” (items sightholders have refused) to non-sightholders. That was scuttled, in favor of a plan (“second sight week”) to sell the surplus supplies to existing sightholders. And now, we have may have another plan, selling to ex-sightholders. As De Beers’ Stephen Lussier told Mineweb:
“We are asking if there were clients who would have been on the list (of sightholders) but we didn’t have the goods to sell to them. Is this an opportunity for them to come back on the list?” he said.
That would certainly get around the BPP issue. But would it involve a new classification (“temporary sightholders”)?
At the heart of all this is a serious problem. De Beers’ first sight was estimated at $100 million – it’s usually six times that. If things remain at that level, even De Beers could end up cash crunched.