South Africa's state-owned diamond miner Alexkor is in talks with potential Indian partners about establishing a beneficiation plant capable of cutting diamonds weighing one carat or less in the country's Northern Cape, according to Chairman Rafique Bagus, as reported by Business Day.
Until now, Alexkor's production has mainly consisted of diamonds from its marine concession area and from dumps and tailings, which are reportedly getting increasingly smaller in size. At about one carat in weight, Alexkor's diamonds require special skills for cutting and polishing, and, as such, Bagus said there were discussions with several potential Indian partners to set up a beneficiation plant in the Richtersveld.
Through South Africa's participation in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India and China) initiatives, it has emerged that these cutting skills were available in India, which, the Indians said, they were willing to export to South Africa, Bagus said, as cited by Business Day. The aim is for an agreement to be concluded by 2014/15.