The appointment of C Sixty Investments as the government diamond valuator (GDV) for Namib Desert Diamonds (Namdia) was not preceded by any requests for expression of interest or any tender procedures. Instead, C Sixty Investments, which is owned by John Walenga and Tironenn Kauluma, was appointed by the Minister of Mines and Energy, Obeth Kandjoze, through powers vested in him under Sections 44 and 45 of the Diamond Act of 1999.
Section 44 of the Diamond Act deals with ‘Unpolished diamonds sold or disposed of to processors of diamonds to be valued and sealed before delivery’, while Section 45 deals with ‘Unpolished diamonds to be valued and sealed before export’.
According to Kandjoze, these sections of the Act, read together with the De Beers Diamond Sales and Marketing Agreement, restricts and ring fences the current GDV from the activities of Namdia, given the fact that the valuator is in contact with De Beers’ commercial and competitive information.
“Duty is thus placed upon government, and indeed the minister, to ensure that restrictions within the (De Beers) Agreement are adhered to and not violated. In view of the above and following advice from the Office of the Attorney-General, C Sixty Investments has been appointed by the minister to exercise his functions under Section 45 of the Diamond Act,” said Kandjoze on Friday morning during a media briefing on the activities of Namdia.
Kandjoze added that C Sixty’s core business is solely to service the country’s diamond industry. The company offers consulting services in appraisal, valuing and advisory relating to diamond sales. In being appointed government’s diamond valuator, C Sixty now has exclusive rights to all Sarine products and services in the country. Marine Technologies is recognised as the market leader in terms of innovative technological solutions that enable diamantaries as well as manufacturers to reach higher levels of quality and value through its valuation technology.
This technology provides rough diamond traders, such as Namdia, with the means to quickly and automatically inspect, evaluate and determine the value of a rough stone by comprehensively mapping its inclusions, regardless of their type, size and location.
On Friday Kandjoze also confirmed that as the line minister for Namdia, he seconded the diamond commissioner, Kennedy Hamutenya, as Namdia’s acting CEO until a substantive CEO is appointed. Hamutenya has vast diamond industry knowledge having served as diamond commissioner for more than 15 years. Hamutenya has also served as chairperson of Deb Marine, chairperson of Namgem and as a director in Namdeb. The position of Namdia CEO and other key executive positions were recently advertised in the local media and Kandjoze expects the appointment of a substantive CEO to be made before the end of 2016.
Kandjoze noted that through Namdia, Namibia has for the first time directly solely participated in the trade of its diamonds and thus created a presence in the global mid-stream market. “The information obtained by Namdia through sales of diamonds will provide government with pricing and market intelligence which would then support more effective diamond sector policymaking. This information will provide the government with a greater strategic ability to shape Namibia’s destiny in a rapidly changing global diamond industry that is vulnerable to depressed commodity prices, liquidity challenges and the threat posed by growing synthetic diamond manufacturing capacity,” said Kandjoze.