The world’s No 1 diamond producer by value, De Beers, had an “extraordinary” start to the year, which is forcing a fundamental restructuring of the business from exploration to sales, CEO Bruce Cleaver said on Thursday.

De Beers, an 85%-owned Anglo American business, saw a 96% decline in second-quarter revenue as the Covid-19 pandemic laid waste to the global diamond business by halting production in Southern African countries, preventing cross-border travel to buy diamonds in Botswana, and throttling retail sales of jewellery.

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