Diamond world to meet in Tel Aviv

Israel’s Third International Rough Diamond Conference, to be held on February 11 – 12, 2008 at the Dan Panorama Hotel in Tel Aviv, will feature official delegations from most African diamond producing countries. This is in keeping with the Israel Diamond Institute’s (IDI) declared goal of intensifying relations between The Israeli Diamond Industry and African diamond producing countries.

Among the African representatives speaking at the conference will be Angolan Minister of Geology and Mines Manuel Africano; Botswana Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources Ponatshego Kedikilwe; Liberian Minister of Land, Mines and Energy Eugene Shannon and Democratic Republic of Congo Deputy Mining Minister Victor Kasongo. Each of the ministers will be accompanied by delegations of diamond mining officials from their respective countries.

The broad participation of African governments will be in addition to speakers from the major companies engaged in diamond production, as well as several younger diamond exploration companies.

The rough diamond conglomerate De Beers will be represented by Group Managing Director Gareth Penny and by DTC Managing Director Varda Shine.  Senior officials from Gem Diamonds, Petra Diamonds, Shore Gold, Stornoway Diamond Corporation, Stellar Diamonds and Rockwell Diamonds have already confirmed participation. In addition participants will include leading figures from the world diamond industry and from centres in China, Brazil, Canada and Israel.

IDI Chairman Moti Ganz noted that this conference is being held at a time of important changes in the global rough diamond pipeline. “This is a very significant juncture for the rough diamond industry, coming only weeks after major changes in the industry that have created serious challenges for manufacturing centers around the world. We chose to hold the conference at this time in order to explore ways to expand and augment current and future sources of rough supply.”www.roughdiamondconference.com