Diamond traders to meet for diamond conference

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Windhoek

Diamond traders across the world are expected to congregate in Windhoek from November 24 to 27 for this year’s International Diamond Conference.

The conference would take the form of a unique forum for dialogue and cooperation between industry leaders at the highest level. The overall theme of the Conference will focus on ‘Challenges facing Diamond Beneficiation in Southern Africa: How can we make this industry viable and sustainable?’

Minister of Mines and Energy Obeth Kandjoze will open the conference, where speakers will include the Zimbabwean Minister of Mines and Mining Development Walter Chidakwa, president of the Diamond Manufacturers Association of Namibia (DIAMAN) Burhan Seber, the president of the Chamber of Mines of Namibia Kombadayedu Kapwanga, and the chief executive officer of Namibia Diamond Trading Company Shihaleni Ndjaba. Industry expert Chaim Even-Zohar will coordinate the conference.

During the conference, the National Earth Science Museum at the Ministry of Mines and Energy will showcase some prestigious pieces of the Shining Lights Diamond Design Collection, some crafted by award-winning Namibian designers.

The exhibition, entitled ‘The Heritage Journey’, will illustrate the process that every diamond goes through, starting at the mine and arriving as a finished jewellery piece.

The beneficiation chain affecting all layers of the community – will be represented by professionals from the diamond cutters and the manufacturers associations, who during the exhibition will show how diamonds are cut and transformed into jewellery.

Both Namibians and international delegates will benefit from the museum, as it promotes knowledge of geo-sciences and serves as a repository for Namibia’s minerals, rocks, meteorites and fossils through the display of rocks and minerals, Namibian mines, meteorites and fossils.

Throughout this time the new edition of the book, ‘The Diamond Journey’, realised under the leadership of the Diamond Board of Namibia, will also be launched.

The highest quality diamonds and one of the world’s largest alluvial diamond deposits are found in Namibia. “Namibia’s diamonds fetch the highest prices, because they are of high quality, pure carbon, spotless and they don’t disintegrate… What we don’t have in quantity is made up in quality,” Namibian diamond commissioner Kennedy Hamutenya said in 2014.

In order to protect the marine ecology and the coastal areas in which most of Namibia’s diamonds are found, international environmental standards are strictly followed in diamond mining activities.

“Namibia’s Atlantic coast area holds an estimated 80 million carats of gems, which were carried to the sea by the Orange River and could be mined beyond 2050,” Hamutenya said.

Namibia’s comprehensive environmental management plan has been independently verified as ISO 14001-compliant, thus ensuring long-term ecological and economical sustainability of mining areas.

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