TRUJILLO – The foundation stone has been laid in Spain for what will be actor Leonardo DiCaprio’s new synthetic diamond factory. He is the main shareholder of the American company Diamond Foundry.
The first stone in Trujillo (Cáceres) is the result of an investment of €670 million. The factory will be built on a plot of 84,000 square metres. Furthermore, the plot was bought by the company for €1.7 million. The facility will have a connected 120 megawatt photovoltaic installation for self-sustainability and is expected to create more than 300 direct and more than 1,000 indirect jobs.
“As you have been able to verify, we are already in the middle of the implementation phase of the factory,” assured the representative of the said company, Martin Roscheisen, on Friday during the symbolic act of laying the first stone. Minister and government spokesman Isabel Rodriguez was present, together with the president of the Junta de Extremadura, Guillermo Fernández Vara. However, the famous actor himself was conspicuous by his absence.
Natural processes imitated in a more environmentally friendly way
This factory will produce diamonds using plasma reactors to mimic the natural process. The production process uses hydrogen and solar energy. There are no human or environmental costs involved. The company estimates that it will produce approximately 1 million carats of gem-quality diamonds annually. They have the same quality as natural mined diamonds.
The project is part of a sustainable initiative that is more ethical and environmentally friendly than traditional diamond mining. Furthermoer, the Trujillo factory is expected to be operational in the second quarter of next year to deliver affordable diamonds. In 2006, DiCaprio’s interest in diamonds was sparked while filming Blood Diamond. Since 2015, the American company has been working with the Hollywood actor.
Traditional diamond mining is subject to controversy. The term “blood diamond” gained popularity in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It was then revealed that in various conflicts in African countries, including Sierra Leone, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo, diamonds were used to finance wars. In this context, the mining and trade of these conflict diamonds is often accompanied by forced labour, child labour and other human rights violations. Thus, they are associated with bloodshed and exploitation.
Despite the good intentions behind DiCaprio’s synthetic alternative to diamonds, it’s important to note that there are also diamond operations that are conducted ethically, with fair labour practices and environmental protection.
The new factory creates high expectations for employment in Extremadura and especially in the Trujillo region, writes ElDiario.es newspaper. The Junta de Extremadura has pledged to allocate a significant budget for employee training in matters related to the factory’s production processes.
The company also wants to employ local workers where possible, both for the construction of the plant and for day-to-day work, once it is complete.