Gaborone: KGK Group last week opened a cutting and polishing factory in Gaborone, Botswana. The new factory is 1000 sq. meter facility, which incorporates the latest diamond cutting technologies and has a staff complement of 55 Batswana and 35 expatriates. KGK Group plans to cut and polish diamonds worth an average $1.5 million every year. The opening of the new factory is the sign of the confidence that the company has placed in Botswana as an investment destination.
Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Kitso Mokaila, said the opening of KGK factory shows that even though the diamond industry has been going through challenges in Botswana, there is still hope and confidence in the sector.
“Opening a factory under the prevailing diamond business environment demonstrates not just commitment and self believe by owners of KGK, but also a long-term approach to business,” Mokaila said.
For his part, De Beers Executive Vice President for Global Sightholder Sales, Paul Rowley, said “With KGK opening up its factory here, this is a very positive step for the domestic industry in Botswana.”
KGK Group’s Chairman Mr. Navrattan Kothari said, “We have brought in the best technology and expertise in Botswana and have setup a state of the art infrastructure with a structured skills development program. We had a long held ambition to open the cutting and polishing factory in Botswana to add to our company’s portfolio. Through the support from the Government of Botswana together with De Beers, we will be able to realize our potential in timely development of the factory. KGK has a strong foundation that was laid down in 1905 in gemstones, diamond and jewellery manufacturing to global distribution and retailing.”
He added that the company’s current workforce of 90 Staff members in Botswana would grow to 150 and beyond this year.
The KGK group, whose core business is the manufacturing of polished diamonds and jewellery as well as retailing, is listed on De Beers website as a company operating in 15 countries including establishments in South Africa, Russia and India, with over 100 years’ experience in Diamond industry.