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Namdia mulls online diamond auctions as claims of under-pricing persist

13 september 2021
Namibia’s state-owned Namib Desert Diamonds (Namdia) is planning to conduct online auctions of some of its diamonds, according to the local media.
The Namibian newspaper reports that there are however concerns that Namdia continues to undersell its purchase entitlement to buyers in Dubai and India.
Namdia's spokesperson Beverley Coussement allayed these allegations.
“In line with our current annual business plan, Namdia will soon be advertising for the procurement of the online trading platform, which will allow for competitive bidding methods, be it tender or auction, among others,” she was quoted as saying.
“The combination of the two methods would work best in the interests of Namdia achieving optimum prices while achieving regularity of sale and cash flow.” 
Unnamed sources cited by the daily claimed that Namdia had the potential of earning additional funds of between N$200 million and N$500 million a year if it sold the diamonds to local companies.
Namdia was set up in 2016 following an agreement between the Namibian government and De Beers in 2016.
As part of the agreement, the Namibia Diamond Trading Company (NDTC) would be channelling 15% of stones produced by Namdeb Holdings to Namdia until 2026.
The company’s purchase entitlement declined by about 13% to 262,633 carats in 2019.
This decline in purchase entitlement saw its sales revenue going down by 16% to $140.2 million in 2019.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished