At a Press conference in Johannesburg, November 17, Mr. Harry Oppenheimer, chairman of world-famous De?
GV EXT: 45 Main Street, Johannesburg.
GV INT: Oppenheimer press conference.
MV Oppenheimer speaking
CU Oppenheimer speaking
GV Conference ends
SV Oppenheimer holds 'diamonds'
CU Oppenheimer PAN to onlookers
SV Oppenheimer and Dr. Custers
CU Bowl containing 30 carats of diamonds
SV Oppenheimer and Custers
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: At a Press conference in Johannesburg, November 17, Mr. Harry Oppenheimer, chairman of world-famous De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd., announced that a method of making synthetic industrial diamonds has been developed by his company's Adamant Laboratory. After his announcement, Press representatives were able to examine specimens of the new synthetic producing, and of similar synthetic diamond material produced by the General Electric Company. Natural diamond grit and a diamond grinding wheel in which De Beers synthetic diamonds had been bonded were also on view.
Mr. Oppenheimer said the new diamonds - manufactured under high pressure and high temperature - were suitable for use in grinding wheels - the only field in which synthetic diamonds can at present compete. Other types of industrial diamond had not been produced at the Adamant Laboratory and there was no question of manufacturing gem diamonds.
The team responsible for developing process - who were present at the meeting - were Dr. J.H.Custers, leader of the teams, who was born in Holland; Dr. H.B.Dyer, of South Africa; Dr. B.W.Senior, from England; and Dr. P.T.Wedepohl, also from South Africa.
The manufacturing process now successfully developed by De Beers is still in the laboratory stage, but the company is confident that production on a commercial scale is technically and economically possible if it is found to be desirable. Research is in progress to find new uses for diamond grit as an abrasive.