Botswana’s Diamond Hub says De Beers supplied around half the amount of rough stones to local cutting and polishing companies last year compared to 2014. Kgotso Matlolela, a principal minerals officer with the hub, whose aim is to promote diamond beneficiation in the country, told a mining conference in Gaborone that De Beers supplied rough worth about $502 million in 2015 compared with a figure of $936 million in 2014, Rough & Polished reported. Botswana has 20 diamond cutting and polishing factories.
“The challenges that the sector is facing include lack of funding, high rough prices that do not correspond with prices of polished diamonds, as well as competition from other luxury goods because diamonds are considered luxuries when polished or set in jewelry, therefore they compete with other luxury commodities,” she said. “The downturn in the global economy is also affecting the diamond industry as well as marketing and competition. We need to develop the trading of polished diamonds, grow and sustain essential diamond industry support services and consolidate the diamond cluster,” she added.