De Beers Group says it will spend nearly $100 million (over P1 billion) to build a new production for lab-grown diamonds in the U.S.
The diamond group officials announced this week that it will, however, spend 10 times more than this amount over the next 5–7 years on natural diamond businesses.
De Beers, together with Botswana government run a 50/50 joint venture, Debswana, with the company operating four diamond mines in Botswana.
In May 2018, De Beers shocked the whole world by announcing that it is venturing into lab-grown diamonds, commonly known as synthetics.
This week, Executive Vice President – Commercial and Partnerships, Alessandra Berridge, told local media that following their launch last year, consumer response to the artificial diamonds has been positive.
She, however, was quick to explain that compared to natural diamonds, synthetic diamonds demand levels remain very low.
At the time of announcing the news to venture into man-made diamonds business, De Beers’ officials said the company wanted to provide an alternative to consumers as jewellery made from these diamonds will be sold for a fraction of those manufactured from naturally made diamonds.