De Beers, the world’s largest diamond mining company, has unveiled an expansion at its Surat diamond grading and testing centre.
The $5m (£3.9m) expansion plan at its International Institute of Diamond Grading and Research (IIDGR) – part of the De Beers Group of Companies – follows the group’s initial $10m (£7.8m) investment in 2015 to establish the facility.
The facility, which has the capacity to process over $500m (£395m) of diamonds a year, provides polished diamond grading services, diamond verification, as well as the testing and screening of small diamonds.
De Beers also announced that, via the IIDGR, it will launch its first ever education service to cover the entire diamond pipeline and support further growth in the Indian sector.
The service, scheduled to launch in the second quarter of 2017, will be run out of Surat and comprise courses that cover essential subjects for India’s diamond sector, including polished diamond grading, diamond foundation and synthetics.
To help meet demand for the additional range of services, the IIDGR is expanding its Surat facility and will now occupy an additional floor in the current building, adding a further 10,000 square feet to its existing 15,000 square foot space.
Jonathan Kendall, president of the IIDGR, said: “From cutting and polishing rough diamonds to consumer demand for diamond jewellery, India is vital to the diamond industry and the diamond industry is vital to India.”