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.
The Kimberley Process Intersessional being held in Antwerp got into full swing this morning, and while the proceedings were calm and orderly - not always a given when the 54 participants (representing 81 countries) get together for their annual meetings - there were some noteworthy highlights.
The Kimberley Process Intersessional meeting kicked off today in Antwerp, as the diamond capital welcomed the international diamond community for the prestigious four-day conference. A total of 54 participants representing 81 countries (the European Union and its 28 Member States count as a single participant) are attending the KP Intersessional meeting, representing over 99% of the global trade in rough diamonds.
Summing up the main results of its ecological programs and events for 2017, Russia's ALROSA, the largest diamond company in the world, said it allocated $75 million (RUB 4.4 billion) for environmental programs last year alone. These funds allowed the miner to implement projects of great importance to ALROSA and the regions and to significantly increase monitoring over the state of the environment. In 2018 financing for environmental activities will increase up to approximately US$85 million (RUB 5.3 billion).
The World Diamond Council (WDC) System of Warranties (SoW) has entered a public review period following the completion of an industry review. The SoW review and reform process is part of the WDC Strategic Plan and is intended to help industry participants better implement and demonstrate commitment to responsible business conduct when buying or selling rough and polished diamonds.
The executive director of the World Diamond Council (WDC), Marie-Chantal Kaninda on May 31 addressed U.S. State Department officials and civil society members on the topic of responsible diamond sourcing and the Kimberley Process (KP). This is the first time that the WDC presented to the U.S. State Department and supports the WDC’s strategy to raise awareness for, and encourage participation in, efforts to combat conflict diamonds.
The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has announced a series of senior appointments to its Board of Directors as the organisation continues to strengthen its position as the jewellery industry’s foremost standards setting and certification body. The appointments were announced at the RJC’s Annual General Meeting in Moscow on Thursday, 17 May.
The three newly appointed Officers of the Board of Directors are:
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is currently working to improve the working conditions for artisanal miners in conformity with traceability standards proposed by the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), according to the World Diamond Council (WDC). In the interest of fostering such improvements, Stephane Fischler, acting president of the World Diamond Council (WDC), and Marie-Chantal Kaninda, executive director of the WDC, traveled last week to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to meet with key stakeholders involved in the Kimberley Process (KP).
IBM and a consortium of gold and diamond industry leaders have launched the first cross-industry initiative to use blockchain to trace the provenance of finished pieces of jewelry across the supply chain for increased transparency, the multinational technology company announced last week. Asahi Refining (precious metals refiner), Helzberg Diamonds (U.S.
In what can only be described as a brilliant initiative, De Beers Group today announced it is preparing to pilot a program called GemFair to create a secure and transparent route to market for ethically-sourced artisanal and small-scale mined (ASM) diamonds. GemFair will use dedicated technology to record ASM production at mine sites that meet demonstrable ethical standards, with the aim of purchasing rough diamonds from approved locations while helping improve working conditions and livelihoods for those working in the sector.
The JCK Industry Fund, established in 1997 to enhance the image of the jewelry industry and to foster development and research of programs that would benefit the industry, will provide a $100,000 grant to the Diamond Empowerment Fund (D.E.F) in support of its Diamonds Do Good Initiative, a consumer-facing initiative designed to highlight to consumers the collective good works of the diamond and jewelry industry. Research shows 75% of consumers say they are more likely to purchase a diamond after reading positive stories about how the industry gives back.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and CARAT+ today announced the inaugural edition of Hack4Diamonds, the first ever ‘hackathon’ in the diamond industry, taking place from May 4 to May 6 in collaboration with Junction and with the support of CARAT+ (see press release in annex).
Members of the Civil Society Coalition (CSC), currently consisting of several NGOs which together form one of the three pillars of the Kimberley Process, met in Antwerp last week to reflect on its role in the Kimberley Process and on broader diamond governance.
Sergey Ivanov (37), the young CEO and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the world’s largest diamond miner, ALROSA, was in Antwerp for the company’s annual meeting with its 56 long-term clients. ALROSA is a traditional company in a traditional business, and still evokes the reputation of a state-owned giant despite the partial privatization (currently 34%) of the company a few years ago.
"In recent years the diamond industry has been battered by falling prices and the growing threat from synthetic, lab-grown stones", writes Jon Yeomans for The Telegraph. "But it is alert to the problems in its supply chain and the reputational threat these hold.
The Diamond Empowerment Fund has announced the recipients of its 2018 ‘Diamonds Do Good’ Awards, to be presented at the D.E.F.
For 10 years, the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) has been working to transform artisanal diamond mining into an economically viable, socially and environmentally responsible activity that will benefit miners, their communities and their governments, and consequently, the diamond and jewelry industry, the organization writes in a press release on the occasion of its ten-year anniversary.
As the calendar turned on the new year, the European Union took over the chairmanship of the Kimberley Process, aimed to ensure sustainable and conflict-free trade in diamonds. Under the leadership of High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini, the EU will head this international initiative to stem the trade in conflict diamonds during 2018. The EU emphasized that its tenure would be guided by the principles of sustainability, inclusiveness, responsibility and dialogue.
At the close of the KP Plenary session in Brisbane last week, the World Diamond Council (WDC) - the KP industry representatives focused on preventing conflict diamonds from entering the legitimate global supply chain and protecting the value of diamonds - extended praise and gratitude to Participants at the gathering, for embracing the spirit of collaboration and open dialogue around KP reform. “This week we spoke openly and transparently about areas of the KP in need of the most urgent reform, and I am pleased that we have come together and
“We want to change the narrative surrounding the diamond industry,” says Diamond Empowerment Fund executive director Nancy Orem Lyman.
Russian diamond mining giant ALROSA has become a certified member of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) by achieving certification against its Code of Practices through meeting the highest ethical, human rights, social and environmental standards as established by the RJC, the two organizations communicated this morning. A large independent audit company has been undertaken to assess ALROSA’s compliance with RJC’s Code of Practices.
As the Kimberley Process 2017 Plenary is set to start in Brisbane on Saturday, December 9, The Diamond Loupe sat down with the Acting President of the World Diamond Council (WDC) and President of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre Stéphane Fischler to discuss the industry oganization's recommendations and what they are expecting from this Plenary.
The World Diamond Council (WDC), an industry group focused on preventing conflict diamonds from entering the legitimate global supply chain and protecting the value of natural diamonds, today called for an open discussion around Kimberley Process reform at the KP Plenary meeting to be held in Brisbane, Australia December 9-14, 2017.
The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has appointed Edward Johnson as director of business development to help expand its expertise and drive growth for the organization. Johnson will focus his efforts around developing strategies to drive membership engagement and strengthen the RJC’s relationships with key stakeholders. His role will be integral to evaluating new opportunities for growth and expansion into niche markets, as well as expanding the RJC globally, focusing particularly on Greater China, India and the USA.
“We have the diamond,” said Leora Halfon of tender house Koin International on the sidelines of the African Diamond Conference, showing us a photo of the 476-carat, Type IIa, D-colored diamond just unearthed by Meya Mining in Sierra Leone. “It’s already in Antwerp.”
The African Diamond Conference (ADC), a joint initiative of Belgium's Federal Public Service (FPS) Foreign Affairs and the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), took place yesterday at the Egmont Palace in Brussels. With nearly 400 in attendance, the ADC featured a broad range of speakers from across the entire diamond pipeline - from mine to finger - as well as diamond industry stakeholders.
De Beers Group and United Nations (UN) Women, in collaboration with Botswana’s Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs, today announced a $758,000 (BWP8 million), three-year investment in capacity-building programmes to support women micro-entrepreneurs in select villages in the Okavango Delta and Kweneng District, the company stated in press release. The announcement was made at today’s W Summit in Gaborone, convened by De Beers, which focuses on the advancement of women business leaders in Botswana and southern Africa.
In the midst of a five-day Belgian State visit to India, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) - umbrella organization for the Antwerp diamond industry - joined hands with its Indian counterpart, the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), to host a roundtable discussion today (Nov. 9) in Mumbai concerning the contributions of the diamond industry to social and economic development.
The Government of Sierra Leone has appointed the Rapaport Group as the marketing and sales agent of the "Peace Diamond". The 709-carat diamond, discovered by a local pastor and diamond digger in the village of Koryardu, is the third-largest diamond ever found in Sierra Leone and the 13th-largest ever to be unearthed. The Peace Diamond is special because it is a development diamond, Rapaport said in a statement. Over 50% of its sale value will directly benefit the community where the diamond was discovered and the people of Sierra Leone.
The external perception [of our story] is not aligned with our good intentions and actions. We have seen this more clearly than ever by the risk profile regulators have attached to our industry. We all know at what cost and impact to our bottom line. We cannot allow this to continue. It is uniquely important that each part of the industry, within its specific mandate, remains fully aligned with our ethical standards and engaged to benefit the good image and reputation of diamonds. Our story is one of shared responsibilities, and we cannot afford to fail. But more than ever it is a story of individual companies making a huge difference collectively for millions of people around the world. It is a story to share.
Stéphane Fischler, President of the World Diamond Council, at the Annual General Meeting in Dubai.
Click through for full interview.
Australian junior miner POZ Minerals Limited (‘POZ’) has signed a mining agreement with the Bunuba Dawangarri Aboriginal Corporation (‘Bunuba’), the traditional owners of the southern part of the Blina Diamond Project area, which will enable POZ to move forward with its diamond project in the Ellendale Region of Western Australia - known for its fancy yellow diamonds.
In 2015, CAP Conseil, a sustainable development consultancy based in Belgium, presented the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) an idea for a fully ethical and traceable diamond jewelry project from small-scale origin. Two years later, the first MY FAIR DIAMOND collection has become a reality.
De Beers Group announced a three-year partnership with UN Women to accelerate the advancement of women across its organization and to take steps forward in its plan to be a positive force for supporting gender equality through all its marketing campaigns, the company announced in a press release. Working alongside UN Women, governments and communities in its diamond producing countries of Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa, De Beers will invest US$3 million to advance the prospects of women and girls by addressing key priority areas.
ALROSA has been included on the FTSE4Good international rating, an index series designed to support investment in companies based on their environmental, social and governance criteria, for the first time. The rating system serves as an indicator of compliance with internationally recognized standards of the above mentioned criteria.
On September 1, Russia celebrated the Day of Knowledge, a state holiday and traditional beginning of the school year for students. This year ALROSA has helped to prepare for school more than 1,100 first-graders of Mirny district. In total, ALROSA will spend RUB 220 million (about $4 mln) for charitable assistance to educational institutions in 2017. The company presented gift school sets and conducted local charity events, where they provided support to schools and material aid to multi-child families with schoolchildren.
The University of Antwerp and the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, together with the Belgian Federation of Diamond Bourses and the Syndicate of the Belgian Diamond Industry (SBD) this morning kicked off a two-week summer school program - "From Mine to Finger: A deep dive into the world of Diamonds".
The Diamond Development Initiative, which works to formalize the Artisanal and Small-scale mining (ASM) sector and improve the lives and working conditions of artisanal and small-scale miners, their families and communities, honored 110 children from remote mining communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo that attended DDI's mobile schooling program. They have completed their remedial primary education program, passed their state exams, and are now participating in their local graduation ceremony. The goal of the mobile schooling program is to provide access to remedial education to c
Signet Jewelers Limited has been recognized for its corporate social responsibility and sustainability efforts by being named as a component of the FTSE4Good US and Global Indices in 2017. Signet joins this group of other publicly traded companies with strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices. “Signet is proud of our commitment to reducing our energy consumption and raising our efficiency levels across our business.
CEO of the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), Dr. Moris Mpofu, last week described plans for reversing the resource curse in the country's tumultuous diamond industry with the creation of a multinational diamond park in Mutare - Zimbabwe's fourth-largest city situated on its eastern border.
The World Diamond Council (WDC), an industry group focused on preventing conflict diamonds from entering the legitimate global supply chain and protecting the value of natural diamonds, will hold its 13th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, October 15-17, 2017. The meeting will be hosted by Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC). Among the items to be discussed at the AGM are industry recommendations for the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) review cycle and a proposed renewal of the WDC System of Warranties.
The World Diamond Council (WDC) will stay its course focused on the primary mission to curb the trade in conflict diamonds under new acting president Stephane Fischler, who assumed the reigns on July 1 after the resignation of Andrey Polyakov, writes Henry Lazenby for Mining Weekly Online. Mr. Fischler will serve in this capacity until the end of the term of this board on May 1 2018, at which time he will start his two year term as WDC President.
“‘A Game of Stones’ documents these facts not to harm the diamond trade in CAR, but to ensure they are confronted rather than ignored. It acknowledges - and tentatively welcomes - the efforts of the Kimberley Process and the government of CAR, but warns of risks that must be acknowledged and dealt with if genuine reform is to be achieved. It seeks to expose those who view the country’s current troubles as a business opportunity, while urging greater support for those seeking to mend them, including from international diamond companies."
- Global Witness, in statement to National Jeweler on CAR diamond smuggling report, says the trade needs to be responsible.
The World Diamond Council (WDC), an industry group focused on preventing conflict diamonds from entering the global supply chain and protecting the value of natural diamonds, reaffirmed in a press release today its commitment to the Central African Republic (CAR). The statement reads: The WDC supports the efforts in preventing the trade of conflict diamonds originating from CAR and stresses the collaboration of intergovernmental organizations and civil society groups to monitor the situation on the ground.
The World Diamond Council (WDC), an industry group focused on removing conflict diamonds from the global supply chain and protecting the value of natural diamonds, today announced that current president Andrey Polyakov will be resigning by the end of the week. Current WDC Vice President Stephane Fischler will become acting President effective July 1, 2017. Mr Fischler will serve in this capacity until the end of the term of this Board, at which time he will start his two year term as WDC President.
For the last two weeks, representatives of four African diamond-producing countries (Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia) have been participating in the "KP Technical Assistance Valuation Program" put together by the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) and Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC). We spoke with organizers and participants about the rough diamond valuation course itself and what it means for the participants and their respective governments.
On Monday June 12, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) welcomed eight participants for a two-week course in rough diamond valuation: the "KP Technical Assistance Valuation Program". The course 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 participants work for KP authorities in four countries: Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
The Diamond Empowerment Fund (D.E.F) raised over $1,060,000 to provide scholarships and assistance to empower young people globally at a special ‘Diamonds Do Good’ Awards Gala held in Las Vegas on the eve of the opening of the JCK trade show. Anna Martin, D.E.F President and V.P Global Develompent and Beneficiation, GIA, said: “This event symbolizes the collective good the diamond and jewelry industry continues to do in communities around the world where they do business.
According to the Diamond Empowerment Fund their new millennial oriented campaign ‘Diamonds do Good’ had reached three million consumers within their target group. The strategy to spread the word on the campaign includes a revamped website, a targeted media plan which is shared on Hulu, Pandora and YouTube, and an online influencer strategy. DEF said the message of ‘Diamonds Do Good’ is resonating with consumers.
To elevate the KP to the next level of effectiveness, we must look beyond administrative issues and make sure that responsibility and expertise go hand-in-hand in the coming years. We took a strong step forward in this regard at the meeting by rigorously and constructively questioning all aspects related to the origin of the diamond product that consumers ultimately purchase. It is in all of our best interests to continue this productive dialogue so that we can continue to deliver on our promise to eradicate conflict diamonds from the supply chain.
De Beers Group has announced it is leading a ground-breaking research project that aims to deliver carbon-neutral mining at some of the company’s operations in as few as five years. The company’s scientists are working in close collaboration with a team of internationally-renowned scientists to investigate the potential to store large volumes of carbon at its diamond mines through the mineralisation of kimberlite ‘tailings’, the material that remains after diamonds have been removed from the ore. De Beers Group will investigate the storage potential across its diamond mines globally.
Australia’s term as Chair of the Kimberley Process kicked off today at the KP Intersessional Meeting in Perth, which runs from May 1 – 4. The focus of this year’s meeting is the start of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) review cycle in order to strengthen the Kimberley Process.
The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, established to preserve the world’s most treasured land- and seascapes, granted University of Delaware’s Saleem Ali the funding to launch a knowledge hub for colored gemstones, including signature projects across the globe. This includes Madagascar and South Asia where the projects are focused on miner education as well as health and safety outreach.
Continuing the published opinions on whether or not the Kimberley Process (KP) is "bullshit" - in the words of Martin Rapaport - JCK's Rob Bates invited Ian Smillie, chaair of the Diamond Development Initiative, president of the Canadian Association for the Study of International Development and formerly one of the key architects of the Kimberley Process, to respond to Brad Brooks-Rubin's response to Rapaport's original
GIA (Gemological Institute of America), together with international development organization Pact, has launched a pilot study to test a new rough gem guide. The guide was developed specifically to offer basic gemological and market knowledge for artisanal miners in gem-producing regions. The illustrated booklet, available in English and Tanzanian Swahili, was distributed to approximately 45 women miners in the Tanga region of Tanzania. “This project is at the very core of GIA’s mission,” said GIA President and CEO Susan Jacques.
The London Diamond Bourse (LDB) has announced the appointment of Katherine Chappell as its Special Advisor for Ethical Issues to its Council of Management. Chappell has more than twenty years experience in the gemstone industry, is a longstanding member of London Diamond Bourse, a specialist in fair trade principles and a proponent of ethical sourcing and distribution. She is also a member of Women in Mining.
"The Kimberley Process (KP) is one of the key institutions that the diamond industry depends on to deliver the assurance that not only are rough diamonds responsibly sourced," writes Vinod Kuriyan, chief editor of GEMKonnect and a veteran analyst of the diamond industry, "but that they deliver fair value to artisanal miners and the local communities in the sourcing area." His defence of the KP was prompted by Martin Rapaport's statement on stage last week at the
The European Parliament last week approved a draft regulation intended to prevent the minerals trade from funding conflict and human rights violations in Africa. If adopted, this “conflict minerals” law will oblige all but the smallest EU importers of tin, tungsten, tantalum, gold and their ores from conflict and high-risk areas to do "due diligence" checks on their suppliers, and big manufacturers will also have to disclose how they plan to monitor their sources to comply with the rules. Authorities in EU member states will be responsible for ensuring compliance by companies.
The Antwerp diamond industry this year is celebrating its 570th anniversary. A document recently discovered in the City Archive identifies the first signs of a diamond trade in the city dating back to 1447.
The Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF) will honor iconic retailer Helzberg Diamonds with the Diamonds Do Good Corporate Legacy of Philanthropy Award, the organization writes in a press release. The retailer will be one of three honorees at DEF’s Diamonds Do Good Awards gala, June 4 at the Four Seasons Ballroom in Las Vegas. The award reflects the actions taken by a corporation to better the lives of the local community while making a difference at the global level.