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.