De Beers has cancelled its third rough diamond sale (sight) of 2020 in response to the logistical difficulties arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. "Due to the public health restrictions on the movement of people and product in Botswana, South Africa and India, which prohibit customers from traveling and prevent the shipment of goods to customers’ international operations, De Beers Group will not hold its third Sight of 2020," the miner wrote in a press release.
Botswana - where the sight was to be held from March 30 to April 3 in Gaborone - on March 16 banned entry to visitors from 18 countries, including US, China, India and Belgium. The country has now declared a state of emergency following confirmation of three coronavirus cases in that country and announced a lockdown of the country beginning 2 April for 28 days. South Africa and India are on lockdown as well, as is Belgium, which has limited travel to 'essential' situations. De Beers said it will allow its Sightholders to defer 100% of their Sight 3 allocations to later in the year, and will continue to seek innovative ways to meet Sightholders’ rough diamond supply needs in the coming weeks.