Namibia aims for De Beers deal to process gems locally

Namibia is finalising a deal with diamond producer De Beers that will see more of the gems cut and polished in the southern African country rather than abroad, newspaper The Namibian reported on Tuesday.

A unit of Anglo American, De Beers operates a joint venture in Namibia with the government called Namdeb, which accounted for 6% of group diamond production in the first quarter of 2015.

Such a move would mirror a similar one taken by neighbouring Botswana, the world’s largest diamond producer, which in 2011 negotiated a deal with De Beers to sort, value and sell diamonds domestically rather than in London.

The newspaper said the government wanted 25% to 30% of the diamonds produced by Namdeb to be processed in Namibia.

Officials from Namdeb and De Beers were not available for immediate comment.

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