|A couple of weeks ago my interest in (marine) diamonds got rekindled after reading a statement
by Nicky Oppenheimer, the charismatic chairman of De Beers:|
By coincidence, that was about the same number of carats as had been our estimate of the value of the Marine Diamond Concession which we (Ocean Science and Engineering) had presented to De Beers Company in 1964, after the completion of our "Rockeater" sampling and evaluation contract.
I spent several hours (c.q. days and nights) trying to update myself and decided to summarize the results on my website.
Following are just some remarks and observations based on this search, as well as a list of links.
Many things have changed since 1964, and De Beers did well combining with the Namibian Government to establish NAMDEB and DeBeers Marine, calling their employees "human gems", and taking up their previously abandoned efforts at diamond mining in the sea.
The worldwide competition in diamond mining, processing, and selling has become tighter, while the DeBeer's control and monopoly over these activities loosened.
South Africa is no longer the diamond champion it was in 1964, at which time it still controlled South West Africa, which is now independent Namibia.
Major diamond mines have been established in Botswana - where Mercia and I drove at night past a giant well-lit "complex" in 1998 which I later found out was one of these new diamond mines - and also in Australia and the North West Territories of Canada - which were only guessed at in the late 1950's when I took "Ore Deposits of North America" at McGill - but seemed more positive at the Centennial Conference on Geophysics in Toronto in 1966 when I gave my presentation on Marine Diamond Exploration.
Furthermore, the Internet and World Wide Web had been established and the secrecy characterizing De Beers and Anglo American in the old days was replaced by ardent transparency resembling that of the diamond itself, if you allow me some exaggeration.
They even seemed to have a capricious sense of humor producing 2,004,000 carats in 2004, almost as good as the Crown Prince of the Netherlands marrying Maxima on February 2, 2002 . .
On the other hand, I felt somewhat put apart to find that their website is not intended for American audiences...
quoting from their "copyright and disclaimer" section:
This site is not intended for users in the United States of America. Therefore, we regret that we are not in a position to respond to enquiries from the United States of America.
Another interesting coincidence I came across during my Google-powered search was that Southern and Central African regions (each, coincidentally, listing 6 diamond producing countries) both happened to produced exactly the same number of carats (1,180 million) and percentages (29) of total production! ...
"Convinced" that this was a misprint, I meticulously checked the totals and now vouch for - if not the accuracy of the reported values - their correct addition.
The summary pages I prepared up to now are listed below and may be supplemented later, d.v.;
please click on each link in the column labeled "Title" to continue my story in a more organized form!