Soft Dollar Hurts De Beers

October 9, 2003

Soft Dollar Hurts De Beers

De Beers says it will have to cut jobs in South Africa as a result of currency fluctuations. Managing Director Gary Ralfe says the rapidly rising value of South Africa's rand against the U.S. dollar has raised De Beers' export costs. Ralfe says the situation is "serious and immediate."

Ralfe did not say how – or if – the weak dollar would affect diamond prices. "The current financial climate dictates a critical review of all of our overheads to ensure that costs are reduced and value is added to the business," he says. Other mining groups and businesses in the manufacturing sectors in South Africa announced layoffs in recent weeks.

The announcement by De Beers did not specify how many of its workers would be affected by layoffs or when jobs would be cut. De Beers employs 10,000 workers in South Africa.

by Robert Weldon, G.G.

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