De Beers cancels its third sight of 2020 in Botswana amid COVID-19 pandemic

Source: Xinhua| 2020-03-31 00:06:49|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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GABORONE, March 30 (Xinhua) -- De Beers Group, the world's leading company with expertise in the exploration, mining and marketing of diamonds, decided not to hold its third sight of 2020 in Botswana citing public health restrictions on the movement of people.

In a statement released Monday, the world's largest diamond producer by value, with mining operations in Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa, explained that it reached this decision to comply with precautionary measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

"Due to the public health restrictions on the movement of people and product in Botswana, South Africa and India, which prohibit customers from traveling and prevent the shipment of goods to customers' international operations, De Beers Group will not hold its third sight of 2020," said the company in a statement.

De Beers'third sight of 2020 was scheduled to run from March 30 to April 3 in Gaborone, Botswana's capital city.

On March 16, Botswana banned entry to visitors from a number of countries including United States of America, China, India and Belgium, making the attendance of most sightholders virtually impossible.

The global firm is letting sightholders defer 100 percent of their supply allocations to later in the year.

"We will continue to seek innovative ways to meet sightholders' rough diamond supply needs in the coming weeks," said De Beers in a statement.

According to reports, demand is extremely weak as the diamond manufacturing sector in Surat, India, has closed and the US retail market has largely shut down.