Laurelton Reign Diamonds (LRD) has officially opened a state-of-the-art diamond-cutting and polishing factory in Namibia.
A subsidiary of American luxury jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co, the plant is located in the capital of Windhoek. LRD Chairman Andrew Hart says the aim is for the plant to produce high-quality diamonds. Diamonds are being supplied by the Namibia Diamond Trading Company.
The factory will employ around 90 people, with most being Namibians.
LRD was formed by Laurelton four years ago in partnership with Reign Investments, a Namibian company operated by a group of Namibian entrepreneurs.
Hart said that only the most sophisticated equipment was being used in order to enable manufacturing to maximize the value of the diamonds.
The plant is part of Namibia's aim to beneficiate diamonds – adding value to them and exporting polished goods in addition to rough stones.
“Some of this equipment we design and manufacture in-house, with years of extensive expertise and knowledge going into development,” Hart said in comments cited by The Namibian.
Only rough diamonds of the highest colour and clarity would be used by the plant which is implementing high-level procedures and standards to create the required diamonds, Hart explained at the opening ceremony.
LRD will spend in excess of $3 million on the training of more employees to fill management and other important roles that are now being carried out by foreign employees. “Namibia has proven to us that skills can be successfully transferred,” he said.
Mines and Energy Minister, Isak Katali, officially opened the factory on behalf of President Hifikepunye Pohamba.