Diamond industry produces over 1,8 million carats in 2017/18 financial year
The local diamond production for 2017/18 financial year was just over 1,8 million carats, the minister of Mines and Energy, Tom Alweendo, said this week.
According to Alweendo, over 240,000 carats of Namdeb run-off mine were offered locally to Namib Desert Diamonds (Pty) Ltd (Namdia) and local sightholders at a value of US$360,125,000 as compared to US$291,800,000 in 2016/17 financial year.
“This achievement has yielded an increase in beneficiation activities and enabled Namdia to fulfill its mandate,” Alweendo said in his budget statement in the National Assembly.
The minister noted that a significant improvement of rough diamonds converted into polished has been observed due to improved monitoring, reporting and stakeholder engagement, by the ministry, in driving the beneficiation agenda. To that effect, 54% of rough diamonds offered to the local sightholders has been processed locally.
Meanwhile, for the current financial year, 2018/19, a total amount of N$12,725,000 is allocated for the monitoring, regulation and facilitation of the diamond industry.
“In realising the speedy evolvement of the diamond industry, the ministry initiated the review process of the Diamond Act, 13 of 1999 to ensure that the law governing the industry is responsive to the industry dynamics,” the minister stressed.
Alweendo added that this process is anticipated to be finalised in the next financial year. In ensuring that the diamond industry remains protected against illicit diamond activities, Alweendo said the country must remain in adherence to minimum requirements of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme and international best practices, thereby upholding a good image of Namibian diamonds and meeting international market standards.
While introducing his ministry’s budget motivation for vote 15, for the 2018/2019 financial year, Alweendo requested for a budget allocation of N$264,321,000, which is the exact same amount the ministry has received for the current financial year.