Windhoek-A new diamond cutting and polishing facility, KGK Diamonds Namibia, opened in the capital on Friday.
Minister of Mines and Energy, Tom Alweendo, officially opened the new facility, which belongs to Sky Investments.
“Today’s opening of the Sky Investment factory is a major milestone for the cutting and polishing industry in Namibia in the sense that it speaks directly to the benefits that the Government of the Republic of Namibia envisaged with the signing of the new sorting, valuing, sales and marketing agreement in May 2016,” said Alweendo.
He noted that the government strongly believed that the improved terms of the new agreement, signed with the De Beers Group, would result in increased opportunities for job creation, skills transfer, investment in infrastructure and technology, and a further integration and empowerment of Namibian citizens at all stages of the diamond value chain.
“It is my understanding that the KGK Group is an accomplished rough diamond beneficiator in the Southern African region, having actively manufactured rough diamonds in South Africa for over 20 years and more recently in Botswana. We are pleased that you have chosen to extend your operations to Namibia and we welcome you wholeheartedly,” said Alweendo.
During a tour of the facility, Alweendo added that it was pleasing to see that despite being operational for less than a year, the factory has already started processing Namibian diamonds. He said it was encouraging to see that young Namibians are undergoing training that would ultimately empower them with the requisite skills to add value to Namibian rough diamonds in the future.
“The Namibian government remains committed to the vision of downstream diamond beneficiation, which is aimed at boosting employment creation and local value addition activities by creating a healthy investment climate for our esteemed investors and sight holders. To this end, please be assured of the ministry`s support in your quest to make Sky Investment operations a resounding success,” said Alweendo.
According to KGK Namibia’s Executive Management, the group has been in the diamond and jewellery business for over 110 years. However, the group’s journey in Africa started in 1996 and now they claim to be the largest employer in the industry in Southern Africa, having started with just two people and now boasting a staff complement of over 350 people.
The KGK Group has investments in the latest technologies such as Waterjet lasers and the Galaxy ultra, which makes their factories in Africa competitive with any factory in the world. The current staff complement at KGK Namibia is 53 people with plans to add 30 more Namibians by the end of the year.