De Beers' CEO Philippe Mellier says the company's commitment to the country of Namibia and their partnership through Nabdeb remains firm even in challenging times the diamond industry experienced last year, reports The Namibian. He said despite volatility in the market throughout 2015, De Beers believes that the sector's outlook is promising, with Namibia playing a key role in its future. “De Beers' commitment to Namibia and its people - which formed the very cornerstone of our partnership with government when creating Namdeb Holdings - was evident in the announcement of our N$10 million (nearly $600,000) contribution over five years towards educational support for underprivileged children,” he said. According to Mellier, this is a prime example of how businesses can, and should directly support those in and around the communities where it operates.
Mellier also said that the new 10-year sales agreement in principle with the government, announced last July, to sort, value and sell Namdeb Holdings' diamonds contract - which is currently being finalised and is the longest ever agreed between De Beers and Namibia - will result in 15% of the diamonds mined by Namdeb Holdings passed to government for onward sale. “Importantly, it also means that more of the value generated by Namibia's diamonds will remain in the country, with cutting and polishing companies among those that will realise this benefit,” he said.