The Namibian government said there is need for more beneficiation of the country’s diamonds, according to local news reports.
“Many of our local downstream industry players still do not offer cutting and polishing services of local stones, choosing instead to buy and sell to the secondary markets,” Namibia’s mines minister Tom Alweendo was quoted as saying by New Era.
“This is a practice which could be harmful to the industry and one which I would wish to caution against.
“Let us not use the excuse of a lack of qualified human resources to cut the larger stones profitably to export our diamonds in their rough format, thus depriving the Namibian nation of the valuable foreign currency revenues we could accrue from value addition of the product.”
He also called on the private sector and those directly benefiting from mining deals with Namdeb to join in developing Namibia’s human resources instead of importing skills at the highest cost to add value to local diamonds.
“Namdia has an opportunity to enter the lucrative downstream diamond industry whereby it should add value through polishing and cutting its entitlement of diamonds,” said Alweendo.
“I do realise that with the current 15 percent allocation, this may prove to be a challenge and therefore there is a window of opportunity in the medium-term to negotiate the terms of the contract to allow for an increased allocation.”