Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers (Getty)
  • De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver pulled out a 616-carat diamond from his suit at the Condé Nast International Luxury Conference in Cape Town. 
  • Cleaver used it to highlight De Beer’s efforts to give back to communities and the environment. 
  • The Luxury Conference, ending on Thursday, is chaired by Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes and hosted by former Miss South Africa Jo-Ann Strauss.

The second day of the Condé Nast International Luxury Conference kicked off with a bang.

The prestigious international event, taking place at the Waterfront in Cape Town, is chaired by Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes and hosted by local personality and former Miss South Africa Jo-Ann Strauss.

On Thursday the conference started with a keynote speech by the Chief Executive Officer of the De Beers Group, Bruce Cleaver.

Cleaver, who spoke about the mining group's social and environmental responsibilities, had the audience gasping when he pulled a 616-carat diamond from the pocket of his suit.

Known as the Kimberley Octahedral diamond and discovered in 1974 it's the largest naturally formed octahedral diamond crystal ever found in the world.

"I would like to send it around the audience for everyone to look at, but I doubt it would reach me again," Cleaver joked as he held the sparkling jewel in his hand.

The primary purpose of Cleaver's speech at the conference was to highlight De Beers' efforts to ensure they gave back to the communities and the environment wherever their mines are based.

Also read: Another monster diamond has been found in Lesotho

According to Cleaver if "diamonds are forever" then the company has a responsibility to ensure that it invests in a sustainable future.

"Diamonds are older than dinosaurs, and even the star in the sky at night. It's the closest thing that we'll ever get to 'forever'," Cleaver said.

One of the projects that the De Beers Group is currently involved in is a project named "Moving Giants". This unique project started in July 2018 at its Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve in South Africa.

The mining company, which has a nature reserve around its mine, created such a safe environment for the animals that it sparked a boom in the elephant population which recently reached 270 elephants. Because the reserve can only accommodate about 60 elephants, a project was started to move 200 elephants to the Zinave National Park in Mozambique – where there weren't any elephants.

The first 48 elephants arrived at Zinave in July, and the remaining 150 will be moved to conservation areas in Mozambique that have sufficient elephant carrying capacity from 2019.

"There is no greater symbol of Africa than the majestic elephant. For us to be able to help secure their future in Mozambique, while also ensuring other species at our Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve can flourish, is something every employee of De Beers Group is proud of," Cleaver said.

The Condé Nast International Luxury Conference, which examines the promise and value of the African market for the global luxury and fashion industry, ends on Thursday afternoon with the start of Cape Town Fashion Week.

For more, go to Business Insider South Africa.

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