Diamond mining company De Beers is likely to have to cut jobs, its chief executive said on Thursday July 30, as it outlined strategy for an overhaul of its business after the coronavirus pandemic crisis hit demand for jewellery.
De Beers earlier reported plunging earnings in the first half of 2020 as a drop in rough diamond sales and prices hurt margins.
Underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were just $2 million in the period, down from $518 million in the first half of last year.
De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver told media official consultations with workers will begin on August 11. The business overhaul “is likely to lead to some job losses, but I can’t tell you at this point what that number will be”, he continued.
Cleaver said the process would last for three months and involve a review of the entire spectrum of activities from mining to rough sales, retail and the corporate centre, but exclude joint venture businesses in Botswana and Namibia where the miner employs 20,000 people.