Vice president of Beneficiation at De Beers Group, Kevin Goodrem
The De Beers Group will, pursue both non diamond business development as well as development of commercially viable jewellery production De Beers and align its strategies with those of the Botswana Government to achieve diversity of the economy as well as the national vision, vice president of Beneficiation at De Beers Group, Kevin Goodrem has said.
Kevin Goodrem, told BusinessPost in an interview that Botswana needs to emulate the United States in development of small enterprises, to create employment and diversity.
“In the US, 97 percent of businesses are small businesses, as in employers of four people or so and this helps the economy and creates employment. In Botswana however, we have more of the large corporations and we need to diversify those non diamond sectors,” he said.
“Our strategies at De Beers will align with the wishes of the Government here and diversify away from the non-diamond sectors. Our intention now is to create entrepreneurship across all sectors,” said Goodrem.
Goodrem said that the Tokafala Fund has been created to help entrepreneurs to get to a stage where they are ready to pitch to financiers, saying Batswana have many workable business concepts but do not have the strategic know how to make them feasible as businesses.
He said that the Fund will add to current efforts such as those undertaken by the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA), but fill the gaps that exist in growing from embryo phase to fully developed business concerns.
Beneficiation is a word coined by the industry, meaning any addition of value in the value of chain of minerals, particularly the diamond industry.
“While we have managed to develop and grow the cutting and polishing for the past eight years, we are now looking at growing entrepreneurship across all sectors,” Goodrem further revealed.
The Diamond Hub has previously told this publication that jewellery manufacturing is the next frontier in terms of deriving more value out of diamonds.
SHINING LIGHT AWARDS
The De Beers Group of Companies jewellery design competition, the Shining Light Awards, has officially commenced its 2015 segment. The competition has been running for 18 years and has seen the design and manufacturing of a number of ‘one of a kind’ jewellery pieces from talented designers from Botswana, South Africa and Namibia.
The competition was initially conceived as a design competition with a vision of showcasing the wealth of talent from South Africa, Botswana and Namibia, to the world by creating a design platform and providing opportunities for designers to bring their designs to life by working with jewellery manufactures to develop these unique pieces.
In 2015 the focus of the Shining Light Awards competition is set to take a new turn while still discovering and showcasing the talent of young jewellery designers to the world, giving participants the opportunity to not only showcase their talent but receive valuable business development skills in the areas of jewellery design, jewellery manufacturing, sales and marketing and consumer demands etc. The shift in focus is designed to align the De Beers Group and its beneficiation strategy highlighting the value chain opportunities within the business.
“The De Beers Group of Companies recognises the significant role that Producer countries play in providing the designers with various opportunities in the jewellery design industry. The success of the competition can be linked to the collaboration between Industry Stakeholders, Government as well as Tertiary Education Institutions, which fits in with the beneficiation ethos of De Beers,” commented Kevin Goodrem, at the launch of the Shining Light this week.
This year’s shift in focus encourages designers to move away from creating extravagant jewellery pieces to creating commercially viable jewellery.
The competition has moved from discovering pure design talent to encouraging participants to not only showcase their talent but their business skills – including cost management and return on investment. Thus designers will not only produce beautiful diamond jewellery but will develop a strategy in order to make this commercially viable to consumers.
The Shining Light Awards competition is open to students as well as those who have completed their studies at a tertiary institution in the past two years. Entrants will be required to design a commercial collection under the chosen theme; ‘the Promise’.
The intention is to align and acquaint students to international standards of jewellery design. The grand finale and announcement of the top three winners will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa at the CIRCA Gallery on the 8th of July 2015.
The pieces will be showcased in 3D technology and the winners will receive a development package which will equip them to further their career both locally and abroad. This year’s winner will be given the opportunity to receive training for a year in Milan, Italy with the innovative Forevermark design team, to expose and enhance their skills in jewellery design.
BRANDING: THE FUTURE
While the Intellectual Property of the designs will be owned by De Beers, the designers will have their names accompanying them in 200 000 outlets spread across the world. Goodrem said that designs by local tertiary institutions have shown that Botswana has the talent for producing world class jewellery and the De Beers’ Forevermark brand, take the names of the winners to the world stage.
The future of the very volatile jewellery industry lies in branding, according to the Diamond Insight Report of 2014. The Report states that the United States and China, the best consumer markets for diamond jewellery, have shown an appetite for branded products in recent years.
“The growth in importance of branded jewellery will have a particular impact in attracting the brand conscious younger US consumer, said the report, adding that the acceleration in consumer preference for brands of diamonds and diamond jewellery is driven by branded engagement rings, from 7 percent of all diamonds sold in 2002, to three and five times those levels in 2011 and 2013 respectively.
This week Minister of Finance & Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matsheka approached parliament seeking lawmakers approval of Government’s intention to increase bond program ceiling from the current P15 Billion to P30 billion.
“I stand to request this honorable house to authorize increase in bond issuance program from the current P15 billion to P30 billion,” Dr Matsheka said. He explained that due to the halt in economic growth occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic government had to revisit options for funding the national budget, particularly for the second half of the National Development Plan (NDP) 11.
Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) has this week revealed a gloomy picture of diamond mining newcomer, Lucara, with its stock devaluated and its entire business affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A BSE survey for a period between 1st January to 31st August 2020 — recording the second half of the year, the third quarter of the year and five months of coronavirus in Botswana — shows that the Domestic Company Index (DCI) depreciated by 5.9 percent.
Botswana Diamond PLC, a diamond exploration company trading on both London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) on Monday unlocked value from its shares to raise capital for its ongoing exploration works in Botswana and South Africa.
A statement from the company this week reveals that the placing was with existing and new investors to raise £300,000 via the issue of 50,000,000 new ordinary shares at a placing price of 0.6p per Placing Share.
Each Placing Share, according to Botswana Diamond Executives has one warrant attached with the right to subscribe for one new ordinary share at 0.6p per new ordinary share for a period of two years from, 7th September 2020, being the date of the Placing Warrants issue.
In a statement Chairman of Botswana Diamonds, John Teeling explained that the funds raised will be used to fund ongoing exploration activities during the current year in Botswana and South Africa, and to provide additional working capital for the Company.
The company is currently drilling kimberlite M8 on the Marsfontein licence in South Africa and has generated further kimberlite targets which will be drilled on the adjacent Thorny River concession.
In Botswana, the funds will be focused on commercializing the KX36 project following the recent acquisition of Sekaka Diamonds from Petra Diamonds. This will include finalizing a work programme to upgrade the grades and diamond value of the kimberlite pipe as well as investigating innovative mining options.
Drilling is planned for the adjacent Sunland Minerals property and following further assessment of the comprehensive Sekaka database more drilling targets are likely. “This is a very active and exciting time for Botswana Diamonds. We are drilling the very promising M8 kimberlite at Marsfontein and further drilling is likely on targets identified on the adjacent Thorny River ground,” he said.
The company Board Chair further noted, “We have a number of active projects. The recently acquired KX36 diamond resource in the Kalahari offers great potential. While awaiting final approvals from the Botswana authorities some of the funds raised will be used to detail the works we will do to refine grade, size distribution and value per carat.”
In addition BOD said the Placing Shares will rank pari passu with the Company’s existing ordinary shares. Application will be made for the Placing Shares to be admitted to trading on AIM and it is expected that such admission will become effective on or around 23 September 2020.
Last month Botswana Diamond announced that it has entered into agreement with global miner Petra Diamonds to acquire the latter’s exploration assets in Botswana. Key to these assets, housed under Sekaka Diamonds, 100 % subsidiary of Petra is the KX36 Diamond discovery, a high grade ore Kimberlite pipe located in the CKGR, considered Botswana’s next diamond glory after the magnificent Orapa and prolific Jwaneng Mines.
The acquisition entailed two adjacent Prospecting Licences and a diamond processing plant. Sekaka has been Petra’s exploration vehicle in Botswana for year and holds three Prospecting Licenses in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (Kalahari) PL169/2019, PL058/2007 and PL224/2007, which includes the high grade KX36 kimberlite pipe.