Diamond buyers go through strict selection process: NAMDIA

• By Erasmus Shalihaxwe

NAMIB Desert Diamonds (NAMDIA) Public Relations Officer, Beverley Coussement said NAMDIAs’ clients are put through a strict selection process which include having financial stability, debt leverage ratio and ability to hold goods during challenging market conditions measured by banking facilities.

She said this an interview with Confidente this week while discussing the company’s operations and how client selection process works.

Coussement said clients are required to have reliable business reputation and should add value to NAMDIA for the promotion of Namibian diamonds and provenance.

“In terms of legal capacity, which is another selection criterion, efforts are exercised in ensuring the applicants are duly incorporated entities, meet the provisions of the Diamond Act, that is, they possess a valid diamond trading license and they are compliant with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme,” Coussement said.

Early this year, NAMDIA announced a list of 36 new clients who will be buying diamonds from the 2022/23 to 2025/26 financial years.

The new clients list is dominated by diamond trading companies from the United Arab Emirates, in the Middles East and Belgium who all have nine (9) companies on the list, followed by India with eight (8) companies, Israel five (5) five companies while the United States of America (USA) has three (3) companies.

Only two local companies were awarded the right to buy diamonds from NAMDIA namely  Schacter & Namdar Namibia and Tate Diamonds which are all in Windhoek.

A total of 38 applications were received during the application process, however two did not meet the required criteria and their applications were not considered.

“NAMDIA has a very strict selection process and clients that did not meet the criteria were deemed unsuccessful in their application. Two applicants were not successful in their application,” Coussement stressed.

NAMDIA has been accused, in the past, of lack of transparency for refusing to reveal its clients to the public, reasoning that clients preferred to remain anonymous for their safety because they would be targeted by “unscrupulous elements.”

The company recently declared N$ 150 million dividend to government for the 2021/22 financial year, and has to date contributed N$ 320 million to Government coffers since its inception in 2017. The 2021/22 revenue was generated from 10 sales in the current financial year, which resulted in N$ 144.7 million profit after tax compared to N$ 13.3 million in the previous financial year. While the company purchased sale volumes totaled at 22.978 carats, an increase of 53.8 percent compared to the previous year.

“Our revenue for financial year ending February 2023, is reliant on our 15 percent run of mine allocation and global diamond market trends, however NAMDIA is confident that we will produce favorable results and surpass our revenue from the last financial year if markets remain stable,” Coussement expressed.