De Beers Settles Value Dispute

August 24, 2000

De Beers Settles Value Dispute

The most recent dispute between De Beers and the South African government appears to be resolved, and South Africa's Diamond Board says the two blocked shipments can go ahead, the Financial Times reports. The diamond shipments were halted for the past two weeks by DVIC, the government's diamond valuator, saying De Beers undervalued its diamonds. This was the third shipment held up in the last 18 months. According to the Financial Times, insiders say the Diamond Board had for the first time requested to physically inspect the sales. De Beers rejected the request and responded by halting the shipments.

Business is now back to normal, but tension remains between De Beers and the Diamond Board. This may not be the last dispute between the two groups. De Beers says it's happy with the resolution of this issue, but it would like to see changes at the Diamond Board as part of a long-term solution. Gary Ralfe, managing director of De Beers, has said the role of the valuator should be reduced considerably and the export duty on diamonds should be abolished, the Financial Times reports.

- by Julia M. Duncan