De Beers Accused of Reneging

Politicians in the Northwest Territories of Canada have accused De Beers of backtracking on its commitment to supply local cutters with rough from its new mine there. De Beers had promised local miners 10% of its production in a meeting earlier this year, reports say.

“Nine months ago the president of De Beers Canada made a commitment in the North saying that yes, he would make a commitment to a supply of rough [diamonds],” Jim Antoine, minister of resources, wildlife, and economic development, told the Canadian press recently. “Now, nine months later, he says he doesn’t have the authority. He made a commitment. Now all the other commitments De Beers has made in the North come under question. Are they going to backtrack on these?”

Neither the Premier of the Territories nor De Beers Canada president Richard Molyneaux returned calls from JCK. De Beers spokeswoman Lynette Hori said, “In order to give negotiators on both sides the space they need to progress these discussions, we have agreed that from now on discussions will be conducted away from the media. For our part, we are committed to making absolutely no comment at the moment.”