De Beers Industrial Diamonds Moves to Springs, South Africa

November 7, 2001

De Beers Industrial Diamonds Moves to Springs, South Africa

De Beers has moved and consolidated its synthetic diamonds division – diamonds manufactured for industrial purposes – to a single new location in Springs, South Africa. De Beers Chairman Nicky Oppenheimer, accompanied by South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki, announced the move and the inauguration of the new Oppenheimer Research Centre on Nov. 1.

"This high-tech, state-of-the-art facility, together with the adjacent diamond manufacturing plant, [called the Diamond Research Laboratories] constitute the largest and most advanced synthetic diamond center in the world," Oppenheimer said. "If Detroit has long been synonymous with motorcar manufacture, so will Springs, South Africa, soon become known through the industrialized world as the home of synthetic diamonds."

Oppenheimer said De Beers made the decision due, in part, to the restructuring of De Beers Industrial Diamonds during the past year. He said it was also undertaken in the spirit of the New Partnership for Africa's Development, promoted by President Mbeki. "We are producing not only diamonds: we are producing and honing the skills that will give South Africa that edge and so ensure employment and hope for its people," Oppenheimer said. De Beers' laboratories that concentrated on synthetic diamonds were previously located in South Africa, Ireland and Germany.

- by Robert Weldon, G.G.

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