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De Beers CEO highlights importance of partnerships

The new chief executive officer of De Beers, Bruce Cleaver, has highlighted the importance of relationships with the company’s partners, saying they are the “cornerstone of the business”.

In a blog for the company’s website, Cleaver, who was recently appointed to the position, said: “De Beers holds a unique position with consumers, our rough diamond customers, governments, communities and retailers. And with each of these groups, we must recognise that it is not just what we do that matters, but also how we do it.

“We must never lose sight of the fact that for the entire diamond pipeline to succeed, every individual part of the diamond pipeline needs to succeed.”

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He said consumer demand is the company’s “only source of value”, adding it’s for that reason De Beers must be “unrelenting” in stimulating it, in established markets, developing markets and emerging markets.

He cautioned taking continued demand for granted would be “a mistake”, and said the company must embrace changing consumer trends and see them as an “opportunity to grow”.

“Whether it be stimulating demand, protecting product integrity or increasing production, investment is a key tool we have if we wish to play a decisive role in shaping our future”, he said.

Turning to the role that diamonds play in socio-economic growth, Cleaver said: “I have been privileged to see for myself the good that diamonds have done for communities and governments around the world where we operate.

“They make positive contributions to countries that have used their revenues wisely, to communities that surround operations and to the beneficiaries of the practical benefits of responsible mining and ethical sourcing. Diamonds do good, but I think they can – and should – do better.”

He added the company must be “bolder and braver” and broaden its horizons, in a bid to accept that solutions to the sector’s challenges may lie outside of it, such as in supply chain efficiencies and marketing strategies.

He ended: “We need to be open, to learn from others, and willing to change.”

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