De Beers Eyes the DRC

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(Rapaport…November 5, 2002) De Beers is considering returning to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) now that the civil war there appears to be winding down, according to a report in the Financial Times. But the firm remains cautious about the situation.

“Congo is an important place for future diamond production,” said Jonathan Oppenheimer, De Beers’ head of producer relations. “We want to be first in. But you have fiduciary responsibilities, people and the company’s good name to look after. Capital runs from risk. And the perceived risks remain disproportionately high in Africa.”

De Beers has operations in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. It recently began talks aimed at resolving a stalemate with the government in Angola so it can resume operations there.

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