Rand Diamonds to Continue Expansion Plans In Botswana

Rand Diamonds a sightholder and a subsidiary of the U.S luxury retailer Tiffany and Co. will go ahead with plans to expand in Botswana despite the economic recession. This was disclosed on Mmegi Online.

Vice President of Tiffany James Fernandez, during a visit to Botswana last week noted that there was no plan to reconsider the construction of its nearly $5 million diamond polishing factory in Gaborone. It is expected to be completed by March 2007.

McLean Letshwiti  a Botswana shareholder owns a 25% stake in Rand Diamonds, making it the only diamond cutting and polishing company with a Botswana shareholder.

During the visit Mr Fernandez also noted that there will be no retrenchment of staff at Rand Diamonds, because Tiffany directly purchases directly what the company cuts.

Rand was founded in 1947 by Barney Laub. Mr Barney travelled to Amsterdam to arrange a group of master diamond cutters to come to South Africa and establish the factory. Rand also operates its own training school.

Recently Tiffany group announced that its  net sales worldwide has declined by 18% due to the recession in the U.S.

Tiffany has been cutting and polishing diamonds since 2000. Tiffany now has operations in Gaborone, China, India, Namibia, South Africa, Antwerp and Vietnam.

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