Element Six is made up of two businesses; Technologies, which is 100% owned by the De Beers Group, and Abrasives, which is ~60% owned by the De Beers Group, and ~40% owned by Umicore, a major global materials group.
De Beers, established in 1888, is the world’s leading rough diamond company with unrivalled expertise in the exploration, mining and marketing of diamonds.
Together with its joint venture partners, De Beers operates in more than 20 countries across six continents employing more than 16,000 people, and is the world’s largest diamond producer with mining operations across Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Canada.
As part of the company’s operating philosophy, the people of De Beers are committed to Living up to Diamonds by making a lasting contribution to the communities in which they live and work. In the countries in which we have mining operations, this means carrying out profitable business, whilst at the same time helping Governments achieve their aspirations of turning natural resources into shared national wealth. De Beers encourages sustainable working to ensure long-term positive development for Africa, and returns more than US$3.0 billion to the continent every year.
Umicore is a global materials technology group. It focuses on application areas where its expertise in materials science, chemistry and metallurgy makes a real difference. Its activities are centred on four business areas: Catalysis, Energy Materials, Performance Materials and Recycling. Each business area is divided into market-focused business units offering materials and solutions that are at the cutting edge of new technological developments and essential to everyday life.
Umicore generates the majority of its revenues and dedicates most of its R&D efforts to clean technologies, such as emission control catalysts, materials for rechargeable batteries and photovoltaics, fuel cells, and recycling. Umicore’s overriding goal of sustainable value creation is based on an ambition to develop, produce and recycle materials in a way that fulfils its mission: materials for a better life.
The Umicore Group has industrial operations on all continents and serves a global customer base; it generated a turnover of € 9.7 billion (€ 2.0 billion excluding metal) in 2010 and currently employs some 14,400 people.