Namibia and De Beers Extend Sales Agreement till 2013

The Government of the Republic of Namibia and De Beers on Tuesday announced an agreement that secures the sale of Namibia’s diamonds through the Diamond Trading Company until 2013, saying in a joint-statement, that the agreement “will cement one of the most enduring and important partnerships in the global diamond industry for years to come.”

The agreement extends from diamond mining into diamond marketing with the establishment of a 50:50 joint venture—Namibia Diamond Trading Company (NDTC) – responsible for the valuing, sorting, selling, and marketing of Namdeb Diamond Corp.’s diamond production.

Namdeb Diamond Corp. (Pty) Ltd. is owned in equal shares by the government of the Republic of Namibia and De Beers Centenary AG. Namdeb’s predecessor, Consolidated Diamond Mines, was a wholly owned subsidiary of De Beers until 1994.

Diamonds play an important role in the Namibian economy:

* Diamonds account for more than 40 percent of the country’s export revenue, 7 percent of the government revenue, and approximately 10 percent of the country’s GDP 

* Namibia produces approximately $700,000 worth of diamonds per year
With almost 3,200 employees, Namdeb is already Namibia’s largest employer. The number of those supported by the De Beers family of companies in Namibia is more than 40,000

* Namdeb contributes approximately $300,000 in corporate social development projects annually in Namibia, principally in the areas of education, small business, community development and health, particularly in HIV/Aids prevention.

* Namdeb is the largest corporate responsibility contributor to the socio-economic development of Namibia.

The Namibia government and De Beers said in a joint-statement that they are committed to the creation of a sustainable and flourishing downstream diamond industry. To this end, NDTC will sell rough diamonds to local cutting and polishing factories as well as export to DTC Intl. It is envisaged that NDTC will be the primary vehicle for the growth of the diamond manufacturing industry in Namibia. Working together with Namibian-based diamond manufacturers, NDTC will also support local marketing initiatives. The new agreement will ensure that up to $300 million worth of diamonds will be made available locally by 2009; representing close to 5 percent of Namibia’s Gross Domestic Product.

Delivering the keynote address at the occasion, said:

“With the signing of this agreement today we have further deepened our partnership with De Beers to ensure that diamonds contribute even further to the economic success of Namibia,” Namibia’s minister of Mines and Energy Erkki Nghimtina, said during a ceremony in Windhoek marking the agreement.

“Today’s agreement is further testimony to the strength of our 13 year partnership, and a demonstration of De Beers’ commitment to working together with government to ensure that the country’s most valuable natural resource has been turned into sustainable wealth that touches the lives of all Namibians,” added Nicky Oppenheimer, chairman of De Beers

The sales agreements between DTC Intl., NDTC, and Namdeb will next be reviewed Dec. 13, 2013.