Live From JCK Las Vegas 2013: De Beers Stresses Forevermark’s Importance

The Forevermark diamond brand is crucial to the continued success of De Beers, the latter company’s CEO Philippe Mellier told the audience at a breakfast held at the Four Seasons on May 30.

Mellier noted the brand plans to continue to do television advertising through the year, such as the ads that appeared last year for its “Center for My Universe” campaign.

“Don’t worry,” he said. “We will be behind this. We will invest in it.”

Mellier also gave attendees an update on the diamond business. He noted that De Beers is currently the leading producer in the world by value, but not by volume. (Alrosa produces more carats.)

The CEO said that diamond supply looks likely to fall in the next few years, but De Beers is aggressively looking for new deposits.

“The easy time for diamond mining is behind us,” Mellier said. “The future will be mostly small mines.”

Even in the most productive mine in the world, producers must remove tons of waste and ore to find one diamond, he said.

“If diamonds are rare, there is a reason behind that,” he said. “And it’s not going to improve, because we have to go deeper, we have to go wider.”

Mellier noted the company’s sales operations are moving from London to Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana, ending over 100 years of history.

“We are getting closer to where the mines are,” he said, adding that the company is also building what will be the most technologically advanced sorting facility in the world in Botswana.

In addition, Mellier said De Beers is committed to protecting the integrity of the diamond industry, and is developing a melee-screening machine for synthetics.

Also at the breakfast, Forevermark USA President Charles Stanley announced the brand will form a Forevermark “Leadership Council” to discuss ideas for the future. He said the company will continue to advertise its “Center of My Universe” concept.