Diamond Provenance: Asscher Warns of Two Value ChainsJune 30, 21
(IDEX Online) - Diamond-producing countries will suffer a consumer backlash unless they can prove their output is responsibly sourced, warned Edward Asscher (pictured), president of the World Diamond Council (WDC).
He said some sectors of the industry believed the Kimberley Process restricted trade, rather than enabling it.
The result, he said, could soon be a "marketplace with two diamond value chains".
Meanwhile, in a separate address, Shamiso Mtisi, on behalf of the KP Civil Society Coalition, identified countries where there were failures to comply with KP requirements - Central African Republic (CAR), Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Angola, Brazil, Venezuela, Lesotho and Sierra Leone (further detail below).
He also said: "Non-KP members around CAR, Sudan and Chad in particular, should be actively engaged by the KP to help address the situation.
"Most importantly trading countries such as UAE and Lebanon should improve and strengthen their systems to curb illicit flow of conflict diamonds that are entering their market."
Mr Asscher, addressing the closing session of a virtual meeting of the Kimberly Process last Friday. said: "Responsibly sourced diamonds will be more in demand. They will obtain better prices in the marketplace, and buyers at jewelry stores will demand proof that they are indeed responsibly sourced before purchasing them as polished."
Consumers increasingly demand that diamonds can be verifiably shown to have been responsibly and environmentally sourced without breaching human rights or social justice.
"Small and medium-sized enterprises will experience difficulties selling natural diamonds, because they do not belong to the elite group of polishers that can guarantee that the diamonds they source and polish are responsibly sourced," he cautioned.
"That will create an unlevel playing field in the polishing centers, and threaten the livelihoods of thousands who own, are employed or service SMEs."
Extract from Shamiso Mtisi's speech:
In the Central African Republic conflict diamonds are being mixed with those
from compliant zones. Mercenaries, in complicity with the national army, and
rebels on their own are killing, raping and torturing people in diamond and gold
• In Tanzania, a private security company at Petra Diamond's Williamson Mine
is reported to have shot, killed and injured dozens of locals in the past years.
• In Zimbabwe's Marange diamond fields, private security guards set dogs on
people and locals live under constant fear of raids by state and private security
agents. Use of torture as a means to punish artisanal miners persist since 2009.
• In Angola's Lunda Norte province, community protests against the
destruction of villages and livelihoods because of diamond mining continue to
be violently suppressed.
• In Brazil and Venezuela, criminal groups mine for gold and diamonds in the
Amazon and in the process destroy the environment and assault indigenous
• In Lesotho, communities around Letseng mine, live in constant fear that the
mine's tailing dams will burst, and that their drinking water is polluted.
• Murowa diamonds in Zimbabwe, is violating the rights of children to education
by drilling and exploring for diamonds close to schools.
• In Sierra Leone, at Koidu, communities report to have been forcibly removed
from their homes, their farmland destroyed and their water sources polluted by
the company Octea that refuses to provide any compensation.