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De Beers spending $32M on synthetics facility

2012-05-09

London--De Beers’ synthetic diamond arm Element Six is constructing a £20 million ($32.3 million) research and development facility near Oxford in the United Kingdom, the company announced this week.

The new facility will consolidate Element Six’s global innovation teams in one location to develop products for customers in industries including oil and gas drilling and machining and electronics. When asked if new facility’s purview would include gem-quality synthetics, a De Beers spokeswoman said the facility “is about industrial applications of synthetics.”

Construction will commence soon on the facility, located in the Harwell Oxford science park, and completion is slated for spring 2013. It will employ more than 100 engineers, scientists and technicians and create 50 new jobs for graduate scientists, engineers and physicists.

This is the second investment announced by Element Six in recent months. In October, the company said it had opened a new venture capital office in California’s Silicon Valley with an eye on making additional technology investments in that region.

Element Six is part of the De Beers Family of Companies and is an independently managed synthetic diamond supermaterials company. It is co-owned by Belgian materials group Umicore.