De Beers

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De Beers and the various companies within the De Beers Family of Companies are in the diamond, diamond mining, diamond trading and industrial diamond manufacturing sectors. It is by far the largest company in all these categories.

De Beers is active in every category of industrial diamond mining: open-pit, underground, large-scale alluvial, coastal and deep sea.[1] Mining takes place in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Canada.


Company history

Cecil Rhodes, the founder of De Beers, got his start by renting water pumps to miners during the diamond rush that started in 1871, when an 83.5 carat diamond was found on Colesburg Kopje (present day Kimberley), South Africa. He invested the profits of this operation into buying up claims of small mining operators, with his operations soon expanding into a separate mining company.[2] He soon secured funding from the Rothschild family, who would finance his business expansion.[3][4] De Beers Consolidated Mines was formed in 1888 by the merger of the companies of Barney Barnato and Cecil Rhodes, by which time the company was the sole owner of all diamond mining operations in the country.[2][5][6] In 1889, Rhodes negotiated a strategic agreement with the London-based Diamond Syndicate, which agreed to purchase a fixed quantity of diamonds at an agreed price, thereby regulating output and maintaining prices.[4][7] The agreement soon proved to be very successful—for example during the trade slump of 1891–1892, supply was simply curtailed to maintain the price.[8] Rhodes was concerned about the break up of the new monopoly, stating to shareholders in 1896 that:[4]

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