De Beers said that it seeks to support and enable cutting and polishing in countries of production.
“Our beneficiation strategy ensures that we sell a proportion of our rough diamond production to Sightholders who have set up operations for processing diamonds in-country,” it said. “Beneficiation helps create additional employment opportunities, supports government economic development plans and aids the transition to post-mining economies.”
The group said 2015 was a notable year for diamond beneficiation activities as it saw the commencement of some new in-country customer contracts.
“However, a range of pressures in the global diamond cutting and polishing sector also made it a particularly challenging year for our customers in producer countries,” it said.
De Beers said it began a new Supply Agreement period at the end of the first quarter for its beneficiation customers in Botswana, South Africa and Canada.
“This introduced more rigorous financial compliance criteria for customers, designed to bolster third-party confidence in the Sightholder community and reduce business sustainability risks relating to the ability to access finance,” it said.