De Beers is trying to counter Survival Internationals allegations and assure the world that there is no diamond mining going on in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR). Survival International, which is campaigning against the relocation of Basarwa from the CKGR, has charged that they were forced to move because of diamond mining in the reserve.
�The campaign could impact negatively on Botswanas diamond industry,� said Charmaine Revaka, De Beers Group Communication Manager. �Consumers may not want to associate themselves with diamonds which are said to be mined in a country accused of forcefully relocating some of its citizens.� A slump in the diamond industry would affect Botswanas economy significantly as it is mineral driven. She said intensive marketing of natural diamonds would allow the consumer to shun the synthetic stones.
Revaka said Jwaneng mine was the richest diamond mine in the world while Orapa, the first diamond mine in Botswana, was the largest in the world.
In Botswana, De Beers currently holds some 45 938 square kilometres under prospecting licenses, either in its own right or in joint venture partnership. Since 1955, the cumulative exploration expenditure in Botswana stands at P513 million. In 2005, De Beers launched the -- the Zepplin -- the newest and most innovative method of searching for diamond deposits in Botswana. The De Beers Group produces more than 50% of the worlds gem diamonds by value and it sorts and values two-thirds of the world�s annual supply of rough diamonds.