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Canada’s NWT Lifts Polishers’ Export Ban

Canada’s Northwest Territories (NWT) has abolished its ban on diamond manufacturers sending rough to other locations for processing, potentially enabling significant cost savings for the industry, wrote Rapaport in a press release.

Rules set up in 1999 required the region’s cutting-and-polishing firms to keep all their goods inside the NWT for manufacturing. That restricted growth since diamonds cost about $300 per carat to manufacture locally versus $80 per carat in countries such as Namibia.

Companies will now be able to export 70% of their goods in return for investing in other areas. The government will assess businesses’ various contributions to the NWT economy, and use its conclusions to decide how much rough a company can send.

Rough diamonds available to the NWT-based manufacturers have an estimated value of CAD 150 million ($112.6 million) per year, the government said. Relaxing the rules would help realise that potential and strengthen the local economy, it added.

Source: Rapaport