De Beers has paused the application process for its new sightholder contract due to the impact of COVID-19 on its clients’ business operations.
“We’ve…been looking at ways that we might lighten the load on our customers and give them more time to focus on supporting their core business,” said Paul Rowley, the company’s executive vice president for diamond trading, in a web broadcast last Wednesday April 29. “As a result, we decided to temporarily pause the new supply-contract application process.”
The current contract governing the miner’s rough supply to sightholders and accredited buyers expires at the end of 2020.Under the new arrangement starting January 2021, the company is planning to divide its clients into three categories — manufacturers, dealers and retailers — and offer a more bespoke selection of goods to each group. Customer must indicate their preferred supply program.
De Beers initially pushed back the application deadline to late April from late March due to the pandemic. It will continue to monitor the situation and let customers know once it’s able to reopen the process, a company spokesperson added.