The following transcript includes the speech delivered by Cynthia Carroll, the chief executive of Anglo American, to Diamond Trading Company sightholders in London this past evening.
Thank you Nicky, and good evening everyone. It is a great pleasure to be with you in this wonderful venue – a setting that truly reflects the magic of diamonds.
I want to start by expressing my deep personal appreciation to Nicky and the Oppenheimer family for everything they have done for De Beers during an association lasting over 80 years.
The contribution the Oppenheimer family has made will always remain at the heart of De Beers, just as it will remain at the heart of Anglo American, which was itself founded by Nicky’s grandfather, Sir Ernest Oppenheimer.
Anglo American and De Beers have a shared history and shared values. And as a long-standing shareholder, Anglo American fully understands that De Beers is a unique and exceptional business.
We understand that diamonds are not a commodity. They are different and they are special. We believe in diamonds. We believe in the leading role De Beers plays in the diamond industry.
And we believe that De Beers has outstanding prospects for the future.
It was these strong beliefs in the future of diamonds and of De Beers that led us to approach Nicky and his family to ask if they would allow us to take a greater stake in the company.
And we could not be more honoured and excited at the prospect of welcoming De Beers as a full member of the Anglo American Group. De Beers is the world’s leading diamond company.
It has the largest diamond resource and reserve position in the world and the best mining assets.
The new 10-year sales agreement with the government of the Republic of Botswana provides long-term assurance of access to the largest supply of diamonds in the world. And the iconic De Beers brand is synonymous with diamonds and has the ability to open and grow markets.
But it is passion, people and partnerships that really set De Beers apart.
Passion for diamonds.
The commitment and expertise of De Beers’ people.
And a strong belief in partnership, all the way from the mine to the customer. Partnership so strong that we can truly speak of the De Beers family.
And at the heart of De Beers’ commitment to partnership and to family is our relationship with you as Sightholders.
As the world’s leading diamantaires, you play a critical role in the success of De Beers and the development of the diamond market.
And I firmly believe that the unique strengths of De Beers and its sightholders, combined with the scale and resources of the Anglo American Group, can bring even greater future success. We are committed to our partnership with you and to working together to make that future an exciting reality.
I look forward to talking with all of you and also to meeting the sightholders unable to be here with us tonight. Thank you again for joining us this evening and my very best wishes to all of you for 2012.
I’ll now hand over to Philippe Mellier.