[su_highlight background="#63A498" color="#FFFFFF"]MARKET[/su_highlight]Bruce Cleaver, the newly proclaimed chairman of the De Beers Group, will have to deal with a cautiously optimistic yet not entirely stable scenario.

Following a five-year “apprenticeship” within the De Beers mining group (during which he covered a large variety of roles, from executive manager to strategic and commercial manager), Bruce Cleaver has been sitting on the most prestigious chair since July: the CEO's. The manager therefore succeeded the resigning executive, Philippe Mellier. Cleaver's vision and experience will be of prime importance in guiding the world-famous diamond giant out of the crisis in which it has been firmly gripped over recent years. In 2015, the company totalled revenues of 571 million dollars, registering a drop of 58% compared to 2014. The 2016 figures were much better. In cycle four of diamond sales (which closed on 23 May last), De Beers raked in 630 million dollars (against $666m in cycle 3): a figure that confirms the positive and stable sign in market demand for the most popular of precious stones. The profitable trend is also confirmed in a recent study by Rapaport, according to which the growing demand is finally reducing diamond company stocks, causing a tightening of the supply and the consequent rise in prices. As proof of this fact, Rapaport saw its own 1-carat GIA-graded diamond index increase by 1.4% in the first quarter of 2016. Over the coming months, Cleaver will have to take the positive signs into account as well as the challenges and traps that may be waiting in ambush: first of all the upturn in synthetic gemstones and the precarious equilibrium of China and Brazil, crucial players in diamond terms • MG

The empire expands.New exploratory missions in Canada and an agreement signed with Namibia.
Instigated by a recovery in the demand for diamonds, the De Beers Group, with its new CEO, Bruce Cleaver at the helm, is widening the range of its mining activities into areas of particular relevance in terms of gemstone supply. De Beers Canada has, in fact, recently allocated 20 million dollars to search for precious stones in the Canadian region of northern Saskatchewan. To this purpose, the group has signed an agreement with the exploration company CanAlaska Uranium Inc. and thus obtained permission to carry out surveys along a surface area of over 17,400 hectares. The ten-year agreement that De Beers has just signed with the Namibian government is similarly oriented and will allow the group - through Namdeb, a subsidiary of equal holding between the two main players - to guarantee a constant flow of diamond supply from the African country, thus consolidating its leading role in the industry and take advantage of the positive trend in diamond demand • CF

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