Israel Diamond Institute Third Seminar on Rough Diamond Sources Features Canadian Producers

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Israeli diamond companies were invited to form cooperative agreements with Canadian rough diamond producers, at a seminar organized by the Israel Diamond Institute’s (IDI) Rough Diamond Committee

We need to see Israeli confidence in our projects. Israeli Diamond companies are invited to set up marketing agreements with us. We don’t yet have marketing agreements in place

Israeli diamond companies were invited to form cooperative agreements with Canadian rough diamond producers, at a seminar organized by the Israel Diamond Institute’s (IDI) Rough Diamond Committee. The seminar featured Pierre Leblanc, Executive Director of Canadian Diamond Consultants; Martin Irving, Manager of the Minerals Sector, Strategic Sector Branch, Government of Saskatchewan; and George Read, SVP of Shore Gold Inc. Kenneth MacNeill, President and CEO of Shore Gold also attended. Canadian Ambassador to Israel Donald Sinclair brought greetings. The seminar was moderated by Chaim Even-Zohar.

The seminar was hosted by IDI Chairman Simcha Lustig, who chairs its Rough Diamond Committee, and was attended by Israel Diamond Exchange President Avi Paz, Israel Diamond Manufacturers’ Association Moti Ganz and Israel Diamond Controller Shmuel Mordechai. Lustig said that the seminar is part of the institute’s efforts to introduce additional rough sources to the Israeli diamond industry. Israel is a major buyer of rough diamonds, having imported $5.3 billion in 2005.

Canadian and Israeli Diamond Industries to cooperate:

Lustig said that Canada produces today 15% of the world’s rough diamonds, and is expected to produce 25% by 2010 and 50% by 2020. He said that IDI’s previous seminars – on Sierra Leone and South Africa – yielded productive business relations. “I have no doubt that this event will lead to an even greater number of profitable connections,” he said.

Ambassador Sinclair said that although “Israel doesn’t have the mines, it has the brains” needed for the diamond industry. Sinclair stressed that Canada is an active sponsor of the Kimberley Process, and that this commitment represents Canadian values and interests.

Pierre Leblanc said that Canada is the 3rd largest producer of gem diamonds, with the first mine becoming operational in 1998. Over 120 companies are involved in diamond exploration, spending over US $240 million in 2005. Canadian diamonds, he said, have done very well at the retail level, but there is a shortage of product. The Canadian identity, he added, carries a high level of consumer confidence. Leblanc said that Israeli diamond companies should consider investments and cooperation with Canadian companies at the earliest stage.

Martin Irving listed Canada’s many advantages for investors including: strong government support, strong geo-science expertise, and attractive branding opportunities. Irving said that diamonds mined in Canada, which are cut and polished in Israel, can be labeled a Canadian diamond, and thereby enjoy the advantages this brand carries.

Israeli Diamond companies invited to set up marketing agreements:

George Read told participants about Shore Gold’s two mining ventures – Star Diamond Project and Fort a la Corne Joint Venture, both in central Saskatchewan. Read said that both projects show quality twice as high as the world average. Diamonds of favorable size and color, including occasional fancy yellow and pinks, have already been produced there. Read said that the kimberlite deposits in this area are of exceptional size, and are expected to yield huge quantities of rough diamonds. Production is expected to begin in 2011.

Read invited Israeli diamond companies to become involved with his company’s projects. “We need to see Israeli confidence in our projects. Israeli Diamond companies are invited to set up marketing agreements with us. We don’t yet have marketing agreements in place,” he said.

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Sharon Gefen
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