London-based De Beers is looking for a new diamond deposit in Botswana's Kalahari Desert as its supplies become exhausted, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
Analysts from McKinsey & Co., a top multinational consulting firm, project that diamond production will reduce after 2017 unless new discoveries are made, according to the newspaper. The precious stones are among Africa's most valuable commodities; they are even harvested in war zones, where 'blood diamonds' have been used to fund conflicts. However, demand for the gemstones has fallen in recent years.
"If you look on a long-term basis, the deposits are not being found. The rock that hosts diamonds is very rare," mining analyst Phil Swinfen told WSJ.
As a result, De Beers' diamond production has fallen, although its competitor, Russia's Alrosa says that it has enough reserves to continue production for another 17 years.