VOL. NO: 53      DATE:

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Complied by Cass Gilroy-Business Editor

New deal with De Beers will give Namibian government more say

THE signing of a new five-year diamond deal between the Namibian government and the world's biggest diamond group, De Beers, has recently taken place in Windhoek. Minister of Mines and Energy, Erkki Nghimtina, told the press that the green light had been given for the signing ceremony to take place.

The sales contract negotiations between the two equal partners in Namdeb - the Government of Namibia and De Beers - went on for nearly a year before they were able to reach an agreement in November.

Nghimtina said it was not wise to rush into signing without the parties analysing and ironing out crucial issues which included value addition of local gems and profit sharing.

This new contract will give the Government more control over the gems produced by Namdeb and that a company, the Namibia Diamond Trading Company, has been established as a joint venture to handle the sales of gems produced locally.

According to Nghimtina, it was agreed that NDTC would oversee the supply of Namdeb diamonds to local cutting and polishing companies.

The Minister said the latest agreement would do away with the 'discriminatory' policy applied by the DTC, under which only two local cutting and polishing companies, Namgem and Namcot, received rough diamonds.


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