Cablegate: South Africa: De Beers Diamond Technology Finds

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (U) Summary: De Beers, the world's largest producer of
diamonds, has developed a fast x-ray scanner for diamond
detection and analysis that also has useful application in
the medical field. The Digital X-ray machine, called the
Statscan, costs about $500,000 and can perform a full-body x-
ray in about 13 seconds -- compared to 45 minutes for a
series of conventional x-rays. Moreover, the Statscan
delivers a 75% less x-ray dosage than conventional x-ray
machines. Quick scanning and low dosage help to allay
patient fears and makes x-raying safer. It is particularly
useful in trauma situations. End Summary

2. (U) De Beers' developed the original version of the
Statscan to detect stolen diamonds hidden on mineworkers and
other employees. De Beers needed a machine that was fast
and safe for everyday use and came up with the Statscan.
Soon it was apparent that the Statscan also had applications
in the medical field. The Industrial Development
Corporation (the IDC, a government financing agency) agreed
to co-fund development of the first medical version.
Together, DeBeers and the IDC created Lodox Systems to
develop and market the Statscan.

3. (U) The first Statscan systems were installed in South
Africa at the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town and the
Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg. Subsequently, one of the
world's busiest trauma centers, the R. Adams Cowley Shock
Trauma Center in Baltimore, installed a system. Lodox has
now established a full subsidiary in the United States and
has sold seven systems to new prototype emergency rooms
designed after the September 11th terrorist attacks.

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