Botswana dimond mines close down

Botswana dimond mines close down

De Beers shop window

The global economic downturn is affecting even the luxury end of the market, and that includes diamonds.

As a result of falling sales, the diamond mining giant De Beers and the Botswana government in their joint venture, Debswana, are suspending diamond mining in the country altogether for the next seven weeks.

Debswana also says one of its four mines and a processing plant will stay closed for the rest of the year.

Debswana's spokeswoman Esther Kanaimba told the BBC's Roger Hearing why the company was taking this action.

Listen Listen to Debswana's Esther Kanaimba (58 secs)

End of Section

Poor outlook

The diamond trade has its own distinctive weaknesses in a crisis, according to Edward Jay Epstein, author of the book The Rise and Fall of Diamonds, and the outlook for the industry may not be good.

Listen Listen to Edward Jay Epstein (1 min 58 secs)

End of Section

First broadcast on World Business News 24 February 2009