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December 2008

In light of the economic downturn, diamond mines around the world are scaling back operations and production.

Rockwell Diamond Mines, which usually shuts down for two weeks at the end of the year, but has added another three weeks in an effort to conserve cash.

Rockwell, which owns four South African mines, will close November 28 and resume operations after the New Year.

The company reported lower-than-expected sale prices in October but says it remains resilient against price weakness thanks to its partnership with Steinmetz Diamonds.

Debswana, the joint venture between Botswana’s government and De Beers, which accounts for two-thirds of De Beers’ diamond production, will reduce its production about a fifth next year, anticipating a decreased demand for rough diamonds in 2009.

The announcement by Debswana mirrors De Beers’ moves in other parts of the world as well, as it aims to avoid stockpiling. It will cut production 10 to 20 percent at its Canadian facilities, as well.

Finally, Alrosa has announced it will also scale back production in Russia next year, while putting a focus on and increasing its budget for marketing efforts to promote diamonds.

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