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De Beers partnership strategy
Exploration, mining licences and beneficiation issues feature
By: Diamond World News Service
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Feb 7 2008 12:00AM
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Reference: 1344  

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The Mining Indaba in Cape Town, held on February 6, 2008 saw Group Managing Director of De Beers, Gareth Penny outline the theme of the conference ‘Prosperity through Partnership’. He spoke about the success De Beers has achieved in laying a foundation for future growth in the company and in producing countries where it operated. De Beers had remained focussed on core assets, and most importantly had successfully cemented and established a large number of partnerships in the key diamond producing countries. These partnerships existed in both exploration and mining, and recently in sorting and marketing to support local diamond beneficiation.

He also added that De Beers was involved in healthy partnerships across the diamond pipeline from suppliers to customers and they recognised the importance of communities and employees. “Today, De Beers is a reinvigorated company with some of the most talented exploration, mining and marketing people in the world who, following a wide reorganisation of the company priorities, are empowered to lead in their clear areas of accountability with the mission to unlock the full value of the company’s leadership position across the diamond pipeline …in a safe and sustainable way,” remarked Penny.

Gareth commented that in exploration De Beers continued to spend $100 million a year on activities in the regions where the company expected to make the most impact, and had invested more than this in the past few years to establish a greater presence and activity rate in Angola and the DRC. The company currently has partnerships in 59 Joint Ventures with 42 partner companies worldwide. Gareth Penny explained that: “The successes achieved in using both in-house and available technology had resulted in the discovery of another 45 new kimberlites in 2007.”

In South Africa De Beers Consolidated Mines, a BEE company had succeeded in obtaining its licence conversion to New Order Mining Right for the Voorspoed Mine in the Free State which is currently under construction, and for Cullinan Diamond Mine in Gauteng. De Beers has two new mines in South Africa, the marine operation using the Peace in Africa mining vessel which was converted and fitted in Cape Town, and the Voorspoed Mine which is expected to produce a million carats a year once in full production in 2009. The deep partnership the company has developed with successive governments in Botswana since establishing Debswana in 1969 has evolved beyond mining. “De Beers is focussed on ‘driving value’ for its key stakeholders in all areas it operates in, from exploration to jewellery, in a way that aligns De Beers business priorities with national priorities in the countries where it works,” concluded Penny.

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