The Steinmetz Diamond Group, a leading international diamond manufacturing and trading group with a 70-year heritage in the diamond industry, this week launched a US $9 million state-of-the-art factory, specially designed to cut labour-intensive 3 grainer-up stones as well as the large and special stones that require expert skills and handling.
This plant, which is situated at the Diamond Technology Park in Block 8, has created facilities to conduct ongoing research in diamond manufacturing technology, train cutters to master level and develop talent within the Southern African region. It is expected to accommodate a workforce of about 220 members, and has also purchased the adjoining ground with the view to expanding the operations for an additional 150 jobs in the near future. The factory is expected to raise the standard of diamond cutting and polishing to world-class levels, train and create new talent, embracing the latest technology.
Officiating at the event, the President of Botswana, Festus Mogae, stated that Botswana has crafted a national vision that articulates the aspirations of the people of Botswana, at least by the time the country reaches its 50th anniversary of independence in 2016. The President said this can be achieved by partnering with companies like Steinmetz who have a long term commitment to the future of the African continent.
Steinmetz, he said, has clearly shown through their vision that they share Botswana’s Vision 2016 by creating employment for Batswana, and transferring of skills and knowledge of the industry to Batswana. He said many Batswana benefit, not only directly but also indirectly, from this kind of gesture.
“Experts of the industry say one job created, results in two more job opportunities in the economy and benefits spill to even thousands of other people depended on the employees,” said the President, adding that the Steinmetz Group is not only creating employment, but is adding value to the lives of many Batswana.
“Indeed Botswana is developing as the next diamond centre, DTC Botswana, a joint venture between De Beers and the Government of Botswana, will be fully operational by April next year,” Mogae stated.
This multinational diamond group has had a deep-rooted presence in the African Sub-continent with four modern factories in South Africa and Namibia. The factory in Gaborone is a continuation of the same dream that of joint ownership and management of factories with local partners, uplifting local skills to international standards.
A press release from Steinmetz said that in the year to come, the Group aims to make the factory a symbol of excellence in diamond manufacturing in Southern Africa as it will be a centralized base for the Group’s manufacturing process in this region.
Steinmetz has acknowledged that this development could not have taken place without the continued investment and mining expertise undertaken in Botswasna by the De Beers Group.
“The opening of the Steinmetz Diamond Factory is a part of that common vision to realize a brighter future in Botswana’s march towards socio-economic empowerment,” said the release.
Apart from job creation, Steinmetz highlighted that workers will benefit from the Steinmetz Sunshine Foundation, which spreads HIV/AIDS awareness among all employees in Southern Africa. The Group also plans to undertake additional welfare programmes to improve overall living conditions of its workers. Children of Steinmetz employees are going to benefit from special education schemes offered through the Steinmetz Children’s Fund. According to the release, Steinmetz has set aside US$7 million for the implementation of these welfare programmes in the region in the next three years.
Since its inception, the Steinmetz Group has ventured into unchartered territories in the diamond industry and took the first move’s advantage. Be it in developing manufacturing skills, increasing width and capacity, leveraging technology, this Group has always led with foresight and a pioneering spirit.
Known for its unique approach to marketing, the Group has promoted the glamour of diamonds at various events such as the Oscars, the Baftas, the Smithsonian Institute of Natural History and the Monaco Grand Prix. Steinmetz has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, with offices around the world. Some of the famous diamonds created by Steinmetz are the 203.04-carat, internally flawless De Beers Millennium Star and the Steinmetz Pink ÔÇô a 59.60 carats, flawless fancy vivid pink diamond.