As the COVID-19 pandemic and consequent restrictions make it impossible to bring together the industry for the 2nd African Diamond Conference, which was set to take place in Durban, South Africa in May this year, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) together with its partners, Belgium’s Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs and the African Diamond Producers Association (ADPA), have announced a series of webinars, on October 14, 21 and 28, aimed at sharing information on challenges and opportunities for African diamond producing countries and the diamond industry.
Alrosa, the world's largest diamond producer and Brilliant Earth, the retailing company that focuses on responsibly sourced fine jewelry including natural and lab-grown diamonds, have partnered for an exclusive jewelry collection under Alrosa's "Diamonds That Care" campaign. The pieces, ranging in price from $790 to $2,190, are made of recycled gold and include natural brownish diamonds mined in the Russian Yakutia region.
The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) and RESOLVE, both pioneers in the field of artisanal and small-scale mining and the responsible sourcing of conflict minerals (diamonds, gold, cobalt and 3T), have announced they will be joining forces, merging the experience of both organizations to bolster conflict-free sourcing, KP Compliance, climate and biodiversity commitments and economic development of local communities under the name DDI@ RESOLVE. DDI's current Executive Director, Ian Rowe, will take the seat of DDI@ RESOLVE director, guiding the transition of the partnership.
Everledger has announced an updated version of their Blockchain Platform, a meeting space for diamond suppliers and retailers underpinned by blockchain technology, that allows industry players to leverage transparency and sustainability in their business models. According to Everledger’s release, the diamond industry, accelerated by the COVID pandemic, can no longer afford to ignore a new reality of consumer awareness on provenance and ethical considerations, and their updated platform aims to help them to get on board.
If you want to shine, sometimes you just have to take the plunge. It is by taking this attitude that the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) distinguishes itself when it comes to sustainability, specifically by focusing on corporate social responsibility in Africa.
Elodie Daguzan, Executive Director of the World Diamond Council (WDC), last week expressed the WDC’s support for the artisanal diamond miners in the countries that comprise the Mano River Union (Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia and Guinea). The WDC was there to discuss the implementation of a regional approach to reinforce the effectiveness of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPSC), which aims to assist artisanal diamond miners in obtaining better access to the legitimate diamond supply chain while receiving fair value for their work.
Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) – the global standard setting organisation for the jewellery supply chain - has strengthened its ongoing commitment to gender equality by signing the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe's (UNECE) ‘Declaration on Gender Responsive Standards and Standard Development’.
Anglo American and Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) have joined forces to develop what will become the world's largest hydrogen powered ultra-class electric mining haul truck. The monster truck is key to Anglo American’s Sustainable Mining Plan and is part of their efforts to live up to their assertion that mining ought to contribute to a low-carbon world.
Indian diamond manufacturer and exporter Star Rays announced it is working towards becoming India’s first carbon-neutral diamond company, highlighting its commitment to sustainable business practices.
The Diamonds of Botswana. If you have not watched (and shared) the video yet, it is high time you do. Andrew Morgan is the director of The True Cost, a documentary about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically.
In a wide-ranging keynote address at the African Mining Indaba taking place this week in Cape Town, Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani laid out his vision for the mining industry and the steps it must take to "connect the future of mining with emerging and next-generation societal values. These are the values of increased transparency, responsible technological innovation, sustainability and shared prosperity, all of which are emergent in our world and are shaping a very different future society."
Elodie Daguzan, a 19-year veteran of the diamond industry and currently Head of Communications and Industry Relations at Rubel & Ménasché, has been appointed Executive Director of the World Diamond Council (WDC). She will officially assume duties on February 1, 2020, following approval by the organization’s Board of Directors.
[The lab-grown diamond industry is like] the Wild, Wild West, making eco claims for its products just because they don’t get their diamonds from the earth. Just because you are not mining does not make your production sustainable.
- Stanley Mathuram, a vice-president SCS Global Services. Lab Grown Diamond Council has commissioned SCS to produce a standards framework on sustainability. Few growers are participating in the pilot.
At the conclusion of the KPCS Plenary Session in New Delhi, India, the Civil Society Coalition (CSC) in a press release says the KP failed to deliver on the mission of the three-year reform cycle, noting “only insignificant changes to the scope and governance” was agreed upon by the members of the scheme.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa served as a co-organizer of the ‘Russian-African Collaboration in the Diamond Industry’ panel session at the Russia-Africa Economic Forum business program in Sochi, the company announced today. Russia and African countries together account for about 75% of the global rough diamond production and are truly interested in the sustainable development of the global industry.
In early 2019, the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) prodvided an update on two pilot projects to distribute an illustrated booklet, “Selecting Gem Rough: A Guide for Artisanal Miners,” which was created to help small-scale miners learn more about the quality and classification of the gems they recover, and ultimately to help them obtain greater market value.
The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has entered into a partnership with the United Nations Global Compact to develop best practice impact case studies for building awareness and educating key stakeholders across the jewelry supply chain from mine to retail on how businesses can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and the RJC recently organized a roundtable discussion with Antwerp-based RJC members.
Back in May of this year, the Lab Grown Diamond Council (LGDC) trade organization retained a third-party certifier and standards developer, SCS Global Services (SCS), to audit and analyze lab grown diamonds against a stringent set of sustainability criteria. SCS has now launched a pilot project for leading producers and retailers of synthetic diamonds.
With less than two months to go before the Kimberley Process (KP) ends its current reform and review cycle at the 2019 KP Plenary in New Dehli, the World Diamond Council (WDC) met in Antwerp for its Annual General Meeting to refine their System of Warranties and prepare to make a final push to strengthen the definition of conflict diamonds before the reform and review cycle closes.
Members of the World Diamond Council (WDC) will be traveling to Antwerp, Belgium, for the organization’s Annual General Meeting, scheduled to take place October 2 and 3, 2019. The yearly gathering of the WDC membership will provide the opportunity to review the position of the diamond and jewelry industry regarding the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, less than two months before the KP ends its current reform and review cycle.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa, the world leader in diamond production, confirmed its status as a leader among gold and diamond mining companies in terms of investments in social programs, according to a study conducted by the PwC Advisory. The study, which is based on the official reports of companies who mine precious metals and rough diamonds, covers the period from 2016 to 2018 and focuses on key aspects of sustainable development, including investments in social programs and environmental protection me
H.E. Félix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), today paid a visit to the Antwerp diamond industry in the context of a broader mission to improve the relationship between Belgium and the DRC, which has been on the rocks in recent years. As President of the fourth largest diamond-producing country by volume, President Tshisekedi was welcomed by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), representative of the world’s largest diamond trade center.
The World Gold Council (WGC), the market development organisation for the gold industry, last week announced the launch of its Responsible Gold Mining Principles (RGMP). The RGMPs are a framework that set out clear expectations for consumers, investors and the downstream gold supply chain as to what constitutes responsible gold mining. The WGC, working with its members, the world’s leading gold mining companies, has set out the principles that it believes address key environmental, social and governance issues for the gold mining sector.
World Diamond Council (WDC) executive director Marie-Chantal Kaninda bid farewell - or rather, au revoir - to the organization after more than two years spent leading it. "I certainly do not do so from a place of disillusionment or disappointment," she writes, "but simply because new opportunity has presented itself, and at this stage of my career I feel that I must seize it."
The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) has appointed Ian Rowe as its new Executive Director, with effect from September 2, 2019. His appointment follows the impending departure of Dorothée Gizenga, who as DDI's founding ED has provided leadership and inspiration for more than a decade, and who will now take on a new role as Regional Director to lead DDI's expansion in Africa. She'll be based in Kinshasa, DRC.
Mercury Free Mining (MFM), a recently-established nonprofit organization, is hoping to offer a $1 million prize to anyone (individual, team or organization) that discovers an affordable and reliable alternative to mercury in artisanal a small-scale gold mining. MFM founder chief executive officer Toby Pomeroy is organizing this challenge in response to the severe global health and ecological impacts resulting from the use of mercury by artisanal gold miners (ASGM).
The De Beers Group’s carbon-capture research at the Gahcho Kué mine in Canada has received a funding boost following the award of a C$675,000 (US$514,000) grant from Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Growth Program.
Speaking at a meeting of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), which took place during the UN’s 2019 "High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development", The World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) president Gaetano Cavalieri advocated for the position of small and medium-sized enterprises. Sustainable economies rely on the contribution of SMEs, he said, but too often they find themselves operating at a severe disadvantage when compared to larger companies.
The Kimberley Process Intersessional Meeting 2019 opened in Mumbai yesterday as the organization tasked with eliminating conflict diamonds approaches what may be considered a critical junction: will it stay the course or take a leap forward?
As the Kimberley Process Intersessional kicks off this morning in Mumbai, the Kimberley Process Civil Society Coalition (KPCSC) have made a forceful call to the KP Member States to finally address the issue of conflict diamonds, Continued violence in diamond production, it warns, threatens the relevance of the KP as well as long-term African diamond revenues by fuelling ethics concerns about the sector.
The 2019 Kimberly Process (KP) Intersessional, with India as its Chair, will take place in Mumbai starting next week Monday. Ahead of the meeting, Stéphane Fischler, President of the World Diamond Council (WDC), urged mining and manufacturing countries in particular to heed the concerns of those in the diamond-consuming countries and to address issues regarding the integrity of the diamond value chain. Those in the industry who are more directly involved with consumers appreciate the urgency of KP reform, as time is running out.
Russia's Alrosa is the world's largest diamond miner by volume, yet the company has largely flown under the radar in the United States, the world's largest diamond market. Rebecca Foerster, head of the company's North American division, is on a mission to change that, and she says Alrosa's sustainability initatives are the key, according to Richard Feloni of Business Insider. Further, the company's transparent mine-to-retail value chain is an easy sell for American retailers seeking to assuage their customers' desire for responsible supply chains.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) on Tuesday published its second sustainability report (available to download here), looking at the impact the umbrella organization for the Antwerp diamond industry has with regard to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), locally as well as internationally.
Senior officials of the World Diamond Council (WDC) have provided an overview of the organization's revised System of Warranties (SoW), during two sessions on April 24 at the 13th Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris.
The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) yesterday launched the Maendeleo Diamond Standards (MDS) an innovative certification system that enables an ethical production of diamonds by artisanal and small-scale mining operations, through the adoption of standards and best practices.
The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) today launched its new Code of Practices (COP). The COP defines responsible, social and environmental business practices for companies in the jewellery supply chain and commits members to adhere to a robust set of comprehensive auditable standards. This marks the third iteration of the COP since the RJC formed in 2005, and reflects the evolving needs of the industry and demands of consumers globally.
The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains kicks off today in Paris, and the World Diamond Council (WDC) will be an active participant.
The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has appointed Iris Van der Veken (pictured) as its executive director, the group announced in a statement. Van der Veken is the first woman to become the organisation’s Executive Director and replaces Andrew Bone who was appointed in June 2015. Bone said last September that he was planning to step down from the post he had held for four years.
Expanding the scope of the Kimberley Process to include issues related to human rights and labor relations, as is being advocated by the World Diamond Council (WDC), will help create conditions in which Sub-Saharan Africa’s artisanal diamond miners can meet their economic potential and support the development of their countries’ economies, Marie-Chantal Kaninda, Executive Director of WDC, told the 6th Forum of the Africa-Belgium Business Week, meeting yesterday in the Belgian town of Genval.
The marketing battle between the natural diamond industry and laboratory-grown diamond producers and their advocates is intensifying. Not a week goes by without the latest effusive article - sponsored or otherwise - appearing about the inevitable rise of synthetics. While the traditional issue of the undisclosed mixing of synthetics with natural is still very topical, recent debates have shifted to nomenclature, pricing, transparency and corporate social responsibility.
United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on March 1 adopted a resolution calling for a strengthening of the Kimberley Process (KP) to more effectively sever the link between the illicit transaction of rough diamonds and armed conflict, thereby contributing to the maintenance of international peace and, in particular, security and sustainable development in artisanal diamond-mining regions. The World Diamond Council has welcomed the adoption of a resolution, which was proposed by the European Union (EU) and ratified by consensus by the members of the 193-member UNGA body.
With 2019 being the final year of the Kimberley Process’ (KP) three-year review, the organization must grasp an historic opportunity to correct shortfalls in the system designed to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the chain of distribution, World Diamond Council (WDC) President Stephane Fischler will tell a special meeting on the role of diamonds in fueling conflict, which is being conducted today in New York as part the United Nations General Assembly’s 73rd Session.
The Kimberley Process (KP) is set to adopt a draft resolution that opens up the potential to expand its mandate beyond the narrow confines of eliminating 'conflict diamonds' as currently defined. The draft resolution is entitled "The role of diamonds in fuelling conflict: breaking the link between the illicit transaction of rough diamonds and armed conflict as a contribution to prevention and settlement of conflicts," which it will include in the provisional agenda of its next session, committing the KP to discuss a report on the implementation of the Kimberley Process.
BV Schmuck & Uhren (BVSU) has become the first German jewelry trade association to become a member of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC). The association, which was founded in 1947 and represents nearly 170 medium-sized companies at the national, European and international levels, announced its decision at the recently concluded Inhorgenta Munich show.
The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) has developed an illustrated booklet, “Selecting Gem Rough: A Guide for Artisanal Miners,” to help small-scale miners learn more about the quality and classification of the gems they recover, and ultimately to obtain greater market value. As Russel Shor explains, the two pilot projects GIA initiated with Pact, a Washington, D.C.-based non-governmental development organization with offices in Tanzania, are having an impact on these miners' lives.
Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa has updated its policy on sustainable development and corporate social responsibility in accordance with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as best international practices and industry trends, the company writes in a press release.
The EU Plenary, which brings together the three pillars of the KP and its many stakeholders, was marked as a unique opportunity to advance the ambitious reform agenda set in 2017. Under the leadership of the EU, the KP discussed an agenda with three priorities: a deepening of the KP, including the reinforcement of the system of controls and the transformation of KP recommendations into minimum requirements; an expansion of the KP by broadening the definition of conflict diamonds; and professionalization of the KP by, among others, the establishment of a permanent KP secretariat.
Monday afternoon in Brussels at the opening of the Kimberley Process (KP) Plenary session, World Diamond Council (WDC) President Stephane Fischler urged the delegation to support the strengthening the KP by expanding the definition of conflict diamonds (Read full speech). The expanded definition proposed by the Canadian government includes diamonds associated with widespread and systematic violence.
This week, a group of nine government officials from four African diamond-producing countries (Cameroon, Congo Braza, Cote D'Ivoire, Guinea) embarked on a ten-day training course in Antwerp, furthering their knowledge of rough-diamond evaluation and valuation. The course, called the "KP Technical Assistance Valuation Program", originates from the commitment of the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), which coordinates requests for Technical Assistance on behalf of the Administrative Support Mechanism (ASM) in the framework of the KP.
The World Diamond Council (WDC) concluded its 14th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Mumbai, India this week, reaching consensus on critical areas of reform for both the Kimberley Process and the WDC System of Warranties (SoW), the industry organization announced in a press release. The WDC passed resolutions for further improvement of a responsible supply chain and enhanced self-regulation exercise within the WDC SoW.
The World Diamond Council (WDC) kicked off its 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Mumbai on October 22, with its focus being on reform of the Kimberley Process and WDC System of Warranties in support of a commitment to sustainable development by the diamond industry. The meeting is hosted by The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), and this year’s event welcomed several new member organizations that strengthen the collective voice of the Council, particularly in Belgium, China and Africa. The agenda will continue to focus on a push for reform, both externally in the Kimberl
The 2018 World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) Congress held last week in Bogotá, Colombia featured a strong focus on responsible sourcing in the jewelry industry. This included the introduction of a Responsible Sourcing Guidance document, which will serve as a reference for responsible sourcing practices developed and applied by industry organizations and commercial bodies worldwide and will come to have the status of a CIBJO Book. To oversee the process, a Responsible Sourcing Commission was established.
The EU Chairmanship of the Kimberley Process and the ongoing review of the KP provide a unique opportunity to transform it into a tool not just for conflict prevention, but also for sustainable development, the AWDC told us yesterday afternoon. The gathering momentum for transforming the KP's very narrow definition of conflict diamonds during this year’s Chairmanship will only be brought to fruition through the concerted efforts of all the public and private actors across the diamond value chain.
The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has announced that Andrew Bone will be stepping down as its Executive Director, effective 27 March 2019. Andrew Bone has been Executive Director since the spring of 2015. Under his leadership, RJC membership doubled and the organization laid the foundations for sustainable growth in the future, the RJC said in a statement.
The Diamond Empowerment Fund (D.E.F) has partnered with the Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS) to establish the first in a series of Diamond Empowerment Fund Scholarships. The DEF scholarship, the first in a series of new scholarships, will be earmarked for a student from a diamond producing country whose chosen post-graduate study will be in a field of interest that meets the needs for improving the quality of life for Africans. Additional D.E.F scholarships will be identified in the coming months, each representing the global impact of the diamond industry.
Last week, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and the University of Antwerp hosted an “Innovation and Diamonds” conference at the Antwerpsche Diamantkring - the only rough diamond bourse in the world - featuring internationally-recognized experts from across the spectrum of the diamond trade, including alternative financing, the impact of digital on the luxury segment, the feasibility of small-scale ethical mining, as well as the earthquake and aftershocks of De Beers’ foray into lab-grown diamonds: LightBox.
World Diamond Council (WDC) executives traveled to Angola last week for a series of meetings with stakeholders involved in the Kimberley Process (KP). WDC Acting President Stephane Fischler and Executive Director Marie-Chantal Kaninda made the trip at the invitation of Angolan authorities, marking the first time there has been a WDC mission to Angola outside of a formal KP meeting.
From June 19 to 22, Antwerp was the host city for the Kimberley Process (KP) Intersessional meeting. This year, the European Union occupied the KP Chair, under the lead of Hilde Hardeman (pictured). The global diamond community - consisting of diamond-producing and trading countries, the diamond industry and civil society - gathered together to assess the current state of affairs and look forward to the future of the KP.
On the sidelines of the Kimberley Process Intersessional taking place this week in Antwerp, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and the African Diamond Producers Association (ADPA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate their common objectives of improving the image, professionalization and marketing of African diamonds.