De Beers pours N$48m into Namibia, Botswana

… as miner responds to Covid-19

By Business Reporter

DIAMOND mining and marketing corporation, the De Beers Group, on Tuesday announced that it would contribute $2 500 000 (N$48 million) across Botswana and Namibia to aid the response to the Covid-19 crisis.

De Beers Group is a 50:50 joint venture partner with both Botswana and Namibia in the recovery and sorting of rough diamonds.

Its contribution in both countries forms part of a larger effort across four producing countries that include Canada and South Africa.

The purpose of the funding, the company said, was to support governments and communities in the procurement of medical supplies, logistical support, vulnerability assessment support plans, food security for vulnerable households, water supply to communities, community coronavirus awareness and education, and local clinical support.

“With our contribution, we are supporting the unprecedented efforts of healthcare professionals, community leaders and all those confronting Covid-19 in the countries and communities in which we live and work,” De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver stated.

The group, he said, had refocused its business in host communities to support the response to the pandemic.

“Our priorities are clear: prepare communities for the crisis, support the emergency response and be a partner in economic recovery,” Cleaver said in a media release to Mining Weekly.

The group, he added, had had long-standing partnerships with the people of Botswana and Namibia spanning decades and would stand with these countries as their partners on the road to recovery and renewal.

It had designed a comprehensive community response plan to provide the most effective and relevant support to host communities. The plan had been developed through engagement with community, traditional and faith leaders, and government agencies to understand their needs and ensure that the right support at the right time was provided, both during the pandemic and into the vital economic recovery phase.

Regular engagement would continue with government and community leaders to aid their response to the crisis, and further announcements would be made regarding the group’s contribution to response efforts in Canada and South Africa.

Established in 1888, De Beers Group is the world’s leading diamond company with expertise in the exploration, mining and marketing of diamonds.

Together with its joint venture partners, the Anglo American group company employs more than 20 000 people across the diamond pipeline and is the world’s largest diamond producer by value.

Additional reporting by mining weekly