Namib Desert Diamonds (Pty) Ltd – NAMDIA – wishes to address the allegations, innuendos and suggestions made by selected media claiming that NAMDIA has “deliberately sold the country’s diamonds cheaply to Dubai” and there is “continued suspicion of selling diamonds for peanuts to Middle East-based companies”. It further suggests that NAMDIA “had sold diamonds for US$500 (around N$7100) per carat” suggesting that the company has undersold diamonds.
Namib Desert Diamonds (Namdia) said it will export its annual 15 percent entitlement of diamonds produced by Namdeb Holdings in line with the marketing and sales agreement signed between Namibia and De Beers in 2016.
Under the sales agreement the Namibia Diamond Trading Company (NDTC) sells the country’s rough stones, on behalf of Namdeb Holdings, to De Beers for its 85 percent entitlement and the rest to Namdia.
De Beers in turn sells part of its entitlement to sightholders in Namibia and takes the remainder to Gaborone for aggregation.
“Our 15 percent, or a minimum of $150 million, was earmarked for international sales and not for the local market,” company chief executive Kennedy Hamutenya was quoted as saying by a local newspaper, New Era.
“This was a deliberate policy decision by the government in order to make inroads into the international market and reduce our reliance on the middleman in selling our stones. This was done to give us better insights into this very secretive and opaque industry.”
He said Namdia does not deal in or handle diamonds mixed with those of other producing nations.
“When a client is buying Namdia diamonds they can be guaranteed that they are buying a 100 percent Namibian-mined diamond,” said Hamutenya.
“This is particularly important for those clients who want to give assurance to their end user client that they know the source of the diamond – that it was not involved in child labour, that it is not tainted as a conflict or blood diamond and that it has no links with money laundering or financing of terrorism.”
Source: Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished
Namib Desert Diamonds’ (Namdia) outlook for the Namibian diamond industry in 2018 is positive despite a few challenges.
In a media statement, Namdia Chief Executive Officer Kennedy Hamutenya said the industry remains firm despite challenges such as the long-term demand for natural diamonds in light of the introduction of man-made synthetic diamonds.
“We in Namibia stand strong on the evidence that we have some of the finest high quality gemstones in the world for which there will always be a demand”, he said.
Namibian diamonds are of the highest quality in the world. The world’s diamonds manufacturers and diamantries, therefore, have a great appetite for these precious stones. This is the view of Kennedy Hamutenya, Chief Executive Officer of Namib Desert Diamonds (NAMDIA), which was established in 2016 “to discover the price of Namibia’s diamonds in the international market.”
Windhoek-Chief Executive Officer of Namib Desert Diamonds (NAMDIA), Kennedy Hamutenya, has rubbished allegations that the newly established company sold Namibian diamonds below market value.
NAMDIA was established in 2016 to trade Namibian rough diamonds directly in the international markets without using middlemen and not through De Beers, as is the case with the rest of the 85 percent of the diamonds marketed and sold through them.
Since Namib Desert Diamonds (Namdia) was established by government in 2016 it has come under fire from various quarters. Critics of the new diamond trading entity, which was basically started to search for better prices for Namibia’s high-quality gem diamonds, have accused the company of selling the country’s diamonds for below market value and of selecting a valuation company with little to no experience in the industry. An alleged disagreement between the board and CEO Kennedy Hamutenya, and the mines ministry, also played out in the media as unsubstantiated reports of a power struggle ensued. This week New Era’s Senior Business Reporter, Edgar Brandt (EB), sat down for an exclusive interview with Hamutenya (KH) to clarify Namdia’s role in the market and to provide some insight on the alleged power struggles.