- Extols BW’s political stability and quality of diamonds
- Currently employs 117 local polishers and 27 expat trainers
Internationally-acclaimed diamond manufacturing company, StarGems Group, has established operations in Botswana with state-of-the-art machinery.
The Dubai-based firm mainly focuses on manufacturing, wholesaling, retailing and auctioning of diamonds and jewellery.
It has previously set up operations in New York, Hong Kong and Johannesburg.
Said SatarGems Global Head of Manufacturing, Sandeep Kolambekar, in Gaborone recently: “Over the years, Botswana has been one of the largest diamond producers in the world.
“In 2021, the country’s diamond production amounted to nearly 23 million carats. This represents an increase of some 26 percent from the previous year. This motivated us to set foot in Botswana and establish operations.
“We were attracted by the quality of the precious stones and political stability. Botswana has over the years consistently ranked highly on economic and development indicators.”
Sourcing and manufacturing rough diamonds
The StarGems Botswana unit was set up for sourcing and manufacturing rough diamonds. The company will be sourcing from DeBeers, ODC and its subsidiary company. It expects to process 2000 to 3000 carats of rough diamonds monthly.
Cutting, bruting and faceting
The Botswana unit carries the iconic Synova DaVinci Diamond Factory, which combines three major operations – cutting, bruting and faceting. It carries out all the essential manufacturing workflows, including the entire rough-to-polish process.
Kolambekar said they have high hopes that their presence in Botswana will add impetus to the economy and curb the unemployment rate. The company currently employs 117 local polishers and 27 expat trainers. The goal is to grow this number to 500 in the foreseeable future.
Said Kolambekar: “We are also in a strategic partnership with Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Training School.; we will be mentoring 60 Batswana on our focus areas of operations.
“We are also aware that there is a high rate of poverty in rural areas. Through our CSR and training projects, we will ensure that we empower the rural communities.”
StarGems has joined a growing number of international diamond groups that have moved to Botswana. Over the years StarGems acquired two South African mines to expand its diamond supply across the diamond supply chain.