The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) has urged southern Africa, home to some of the world’s largest diamond mines, to supply more rough stones to factories if they want them to be sustainable.
WFDB president Ernest Blom told a diamond conference in Windhoek, Namibia that countries with well-established diamond cutting and polishing industries such as Israel, India and Belgium receive government support.
He was quoted as saying by The Namibian that while about 4,500 people were employed in the diamond manufacturing industry in South Africa when Pretoria implemented its value addition policy, this had since dropped 300.
Blom said governments should therefore reduce red tape, supply enough diamonds to the industry and work closely with the industry for the value addition programmes to work.
Meanwhile, conference moderator Chaim Even-Zohar said that synthetic diamonds are becoming part of the diamond supply chain.
"The retailer is there to make money and if it means making more money from man-made diamonds, they will," he said.
Even-Zohar said companies selling synthetic diamonds are “doing well”.
He, however, said that some lab grown diamonds were being mixed with natural diamonds.
Source: Rough & Polished