Global consumer demand for diamond jewellery hit $82 billion in 2017, up 2% from the previous year, with the US leading growth for the fourth consecutive year, according to a De Beers Group study published on Thursday.
The initiative is the latest attempt by the industry to clean up its image and expunge the scourge of "blood diamonds" blamed for financing conflict in poor African countries, such as Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Namdeb, a 50/50 joint venture between the Namibian government and Anglo American’s diamond unit De Beers, plans to close four mines by 2022 in the southern African country, a Namibian newspaper reported.
US diamond demand hit $40 billion in 2016, up 4.4 percent from the prior year and comprising half of global diamond revenues for the first time since the 1990s, with the success of marketing targeted at millennials.
Indian diamond jewellery sales are rebounding after a fall of nearly 9% last year, while demand in the biggest market, the United States, has slowed in 2017 in line with muted economic growth, De Beers said on Friday.