Oppenheimers, De Beers polishing diamond tourism’s sparkle – by Martin Creamer (MiningWeekly.com – October 18, 2016)


JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The priceless value of diamond properties to South African ecotourism was highlighted on Tuesday when the outcomes of a range of research projects were revealed at the seventh Oppenheimer De Beers Group Research Conference.

Delivering a keynote address at the corporate headquarters of De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBCM), Inkatha Freedom Party president Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP, a lifelong conservationist, outlined the importance of conservation to South Africa beyond mining and spoke of being prepared to fight to preserve the country’s valuable natural heritage “so long as there’s breath in my lungs”.

Buthelezi described the audience of academics, students and environmental managers as the “nation’s diamonds” of today, for their role in protecting tomorrow’s inheritance.

Buthelezi’s address followed DBCM CEO Phillip Barton revealing that the company was in pursuit of a new future for the Diamond Route, which is the biodiversity conservation custodian of the vast tracts of land surrounding diamond mines.

Co-providing the opportunity for researchers to hear on a yearly basis the outcomes of a range of projects that have taken place across the properties and other sites within E Oppenheimer & Son and De Beers is former De Beers luminary Nicky Oppenheimer, the grandson of Sir Ernest Oppenheimer, who founded Anglo American in 1917 and gained control of De Beers in the twenties, and the son of Harry Oppenheimer, who formerly chaired De Beers, which was founded by Cecil John Rhodes in 1888.

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