…first black woman to co-own Africa’s biggest alluvial diamond company
Diamonds are forever. In the case of South Africa’s Yamkela Makupula, they are daring and bold. Yamkela will go into the history books as the first female co-owner in Africa’s biggest Alluvial Diamond mine company.
One of the world’s biggest alluvial diamond companies & Africa’s biggest combined: Northern Spark, Nastoplez and Pioneer have changed the status quo in mining across the world with the inclusion of Yamkela Malupula as co-owner at their alluvial diamond mine entity. The partnership also includes their tender house: Pioneer.
Already a highly established businesswoman and a top economic advisor across the continent, Yamkela Makupula’s impressive achievements include being one of the youngest partners at PWC South Africa, Africa’s CEO for one of the world’s biggest law firms Diaz Reus and now a female and black co-owner of the biggest alluvial diamond mine company in Africa.
According to the management, they are not only very proud to be part of this feat but one that has been needed for the industry at large as too few women are part of the ownership level and even fewer are black women. This historic partnership is not only a milestone for black South Africans but also for women across the world.
Yamkela Makupula appeals to the younger female generation, who see in her a role model.
Northern Spark (Pty) Ltd and Pioneer (Pty) Ltd) holds mining rights over an area covering 45 000 ha along the Middle Orange River downstream of Douglas in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.
The main source of the diamonds along this section of the Orange River are the famous Kimberley Kimberlites as well as the Kimberlites in Lesotho, known for their large and high value diamonds. For this reason, the alluvial mines along the Middle Orange River have the highest average value per carat compared to any operating diamond mine in the world and many of the highest value stones sold every year comes from this area.
There are currently five operating mines on the Mining Right Area that produces approximately 1500 cts per month. The mines have approximately 500 employees and are crucial to the economies of the small towns in the area.
There are only about 200 small South African diamond mining operators employing only 5,000 people in total, compared with the 2,000 companies that were in existence in 2004 and employing 25,000 people. This 90% decline is one of the areas that Yamkela Makupula plans to change and with the record time she has grown Diaz Reus to one of the most prominent on the continent, nobody would bet against her.
Yamkela and her partners are also owners of Pioneer Tender House and who are operators in alluvial diamond mines along the Orange River in South Africa. The main source of the diamonds along this river are the famous Kimberley kimberlites as well as the kimberlites in Lesotho.
The alluvial mines along the Middle Orange River have the highest average value per carat compared to any operating diamond mine in the world and many of the highest value stones sold every year comes from this area.
Having such a high value production on their tender also means that they have been attracting all the top buyers in the world. The tender has become so popular that they had to treble the viewing facilities and lengthen the tender duration in order to accommodate all the buyers.
This of course has had a significant spin-off for all qualities of stones which are also attracting higher bids due to the quality and number of buyers attending. Many other producers globally have realized that the Pioneer Tender House attracts the top buyers and are selling their production exclusively at Pioneer.
In a very short period, the Pioneer Tender House has created many new jobs in the town of Schweizer Reneke, an area where unemployment is upward of 70 percent. As the Tender House grows, it will contribute even more to the social upliftment of the town.
The historic announcement confirms Northern Sparks position as a global leader in the mining industry and their dedication to empowerment and added value chains.