Forevermark hosts diamond mine visit at Botswana


Forevermark, the diamond brand from the De Beers Group of Companies, recently conducted a diamond mine tour at Botswana for select retailpartners. The tour was aimed at celebrating Forevermark’s association with exclusive Forevermark jewelers as well as blend of business, trade interactivity and exploration providing an exclusive insight into the very heart of a Forevermark Diamond’s journey.

Every year, Forevermark welcomes select retail jewelers to visit diamond mines across countries and is proud of the overwhelming response established. Taking this association forward Forevermark conducted a diamond mine tour forits key jewelers to the Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTC Botswana).

The walk through of this remarkable journey showcased the highest level of integrity & responsibility Forevermark adheres to. The idea behind this visit was to allow Forevermark’s partners to understand the roots of the business, the positive role Forevermark plays and the enormous impact on the economic growth of the region.

The itinerary commenced with a DTCB Presentation and a tour of DTC Botswana.

Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTC Botswana) is a 50/50 Joint Venture partnership between the Government of the Republic of Botswana and De Beers. It is the world’s largest and most sophisticated rough diamond sorting and valuing operation.

DTC Botswana sorts and values Debswana Diamond Company’s rough diamond production. The main purpose of the company is to mine and recover diamonds optimally and responsibly. In addition to sorting and valuing, DTC Botswana has a Sales and Marketing function which is responsible for local sales of aggregated diamonds. Aggregation refers to a process of blending together and preparation for sale of diamonds from various producer countries. This process will guarantee clients of a consistent supply of their desired diamonds as well as generate more value and benefits to the country.

Forevermark’s exclusive retail partners got to see expert diamond sorters categorise rough diamond production from Botswana from small, industrial diamonds to gem-quality treasures potentially eligible for Forevermark.  They also got a chance to experience the value and sale of rough diamonds through Sightholder sales.

De Beers sells its rough diamonds through two channels, Global Sightholder Sales and Auction Sales. Global Sightholder Sales sells 90% of De Beers’ rough diamonds, by value, via term contracts to customers known as Sightholders. Sightholders purchase rough diamonds at selling events known as Sights.

At the Sights Sightholders physically inspect their allocations of rough diamonds before deciding whether to purchase them. Sightholders are among the world’s leading diamantaires and are active in the major diamond centres around the globe. Various different business types are represented in the Sightholder community, from large global manufacturers, to niche specialists, to vertically integrated businesses with retail operations. The majority of Global Sightholder Sales’ rough diamonds are sold from Gaborone in Botswana to diamond businesses which then typically export them to international markets for onward processing.

The next stop was a visit to the coveted Orapa Mine.Orapa is the oldest of four mines operated by the company began operations in July 1971. The mine is located on two separate pipes that coalesced near the surface about 93 million years ago, covering 1.18 square kilometres at ground level and is in operation seven days per week. Today, Botswana is the world’s largest producer of diamonds by value. DTCB is the world’s largest and most sophisticated rough diamond sorting and valuing operation that sorts and values Debswana Diamond Company’s rough diamond production.

After an essential briefing on safety and security the Forevermark Retail Partners geared up for their exclusive tour of the mine. They got to witness first hand the mine’s daily working and the manner in which its personnel function truly experiencing The Diamond Value Chain working at its best

The diamond value chain is made up of processes that add value at each stage of the chain, from mining to sales. As diamonds pass through each of the stages, additional value is added to the product, strengthening Botswana’s overall long-term development.

  • Mining & Blasting. Blasting is used to break up millions of tonnes of ore and assist in the mining and recovery process. Kimberlite waste and rock are then loaded and taken to the primary crusher and waste dumps respectively

  • Crushing. The ore is broken and fractured using crushing and miling processes to reduce the particles fed into our automated facilities and ‘liberate’ the diamonds

  • Treatment. Diamonds are heavier than the material that surrounds them. Once the ore has been crushed to a manageable size, it is mixed with slurry in a method known as Dense Medium Separation (DMS). A series of screening and washing processes take place to separate the diamond bearing kimberlite ore from other waste particles

  • Recrush. Waste material is sent from the DMS plant to the Recrush Plant. Here ore is again crushed using a more refined process. This plant helps liberate smaller diamonds not recovered in the original process.

  • Recovery. Diamonds have several remarkable properties that are able to exploit in order to recover them from the stream of prepared concentrate. They emit light under X-rays which allows them to be detected and separated. They repel water and attracted to grease. The concentrate is mixed with water and passed over a grease belt which the diamond adheres.

  • Sorting. Diamond sorting, packaging and weighting takes place in a Fully Integrated Sorthouse, which is hands free. FISH maximises diamond security while optimising diamond sorting through the use of laser technology. Diamonds are then sent to DTC Botswana in Gaborone and sorted before being sold at De Beers Sights to Diamantaires from around the world.

After being immersed in the world of Diamonds, Forevermark’s Retail partners got an understanding of the group’s sustained and continued contribution to the region.

Education, health and employment are key priorities for the Debswana community.  Services include community access to mine-supported services such as schools and hospitals. In Orapa, Debswana operates a mine hospital in the Boteti region, a 100-bed hospital in Orapa that caters for employees and acts as a referral hospital for the region. The mine hospital provided essential health services to more than 76,491 patients in 2013 and boasts 65 beds, 10 doctors, 2 dentists and support departments inclusive of a laboratory, radiography, physiotherapy, and pharmacy. Employees' children also have access to pre-primary and primary schools run by Debswana in Orapa.

The team spent the next few days soaking in the breathtaking beauty and magnificence of raw Africa as they embarked on tour to the game reservess and a traditional safari in the region of Madikwe (known to have the highest density of wild animals)

Truly some unforgettable moments were scripted and many wonderful memories were made as the sun set on a beautiful African savanna.

Sachin Jain, President– Forevermark,who accompanied the jewelers on this trip said, ‘At Forevermark, we believe in the commitment of offering our customers the world’s best diamonds.  Today, we have associated with the finest jewelers in the country who dedicatedly offer customers the very best in diamonds and diamond jewelry. It’s a pleasure to host and showcasethe very place where our story begins. We take great pride in the legacy we’ve built over the years.”

The team returned to India with an experience that they will cherish for a lifetimes along with in-depth knowledge of the diamond world. This mine visit has re-affirmed all Forevermark’s Retail Partners that they are bringing to consumers the world’s best diamonds.

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