Diamond lessons
City releases report on diamond pursuits

Fact File
Similarities exist between the cost of doing business in Antwerp and Yellowknife, and it can be argued that if a factory is viable there, there is no reason why it can't be viable here.
Business people in Antwerp were interested in developments in Yellowknife, especially with respect to any legislation which would make rough diamonds available at a price less than what they were currently paying.
The task force learned there is no secret to the diamond manufacturing process. Manufacturers said training would not be a problem. One estimate indicated a six-month training period.
Producers should do a detailed valuation and market-sorting function in Yellowknife with a commitment to a sustained access and sale of rough to Northern businesses at their best prices.

by Jeff Colbourne
Northern News Services

NNSL (Apr 24/98) - The city's task force on diamonds is ready to do business on developing a secondary diamond industry in the community.

A report from trips to London and Antwerp, compiled by the city's diamond consultant, Steve Richards, says "Yellowknife-based manufacturing of diamonds is certainly physically possible and theoretically, operationally viable."

"I think what it (the report) does is it set the groundwork for what goes on in the future," said Mayor Dave Lovell Wednesday afternoon.

The 46-page report details what has to be done to make the secondary diamond industry fly.

Lovell said the review tells the various entities what is expected of them, particularly the federal government, which has the power to push for secondary benefits.

"What happened earlier on is we all missed the boat. That includes the federal, the territorial and the city of Yellowknife governments. There's no arguing that," said Lovell.

"What we're telling the federal government to do now is look at the international experience and see what other countries have done, review public policy and taxation measures to maximize spin off benefits."

The Yellowknife task force is also asking for the public release of the recommendations of the federal-territorial task force on a value-added diamond industry.

"We don't want this report buried. We're saying go out and do some due diligence on the whole damn thing," said Lovell.

The report also goes into considerable detail about how the industry works, the economic benefits it brings, training programs and the feasibility of manufacturing.

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