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.
In response to Global Witness’ recent report, “An Inside Job”, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) stated today it denounces the NGO’s accusations that European sanctions may have violated by the sale of Zimbabwean diamonds, originating from the Chinese-owned Anjin mining company, in Antwerp between December 2013 and September 2014.
The World Diamond Council (WDC) announced that the Board of Directors has named Ms. Marie-Chantal Kaninda as Executive Director effective March 1, 2017. Ms. Kaninda will be replacing Patricia Syvrud, who is stepping down on February 28th. Ms. Kaninda brings to the organization over 20 years of industry marketing and stakeholder engagement experience, having worked for companies such as Anglo Gold Ashanti, De Beers and Rio Tinto, mostly in Africa. A resident of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ms.
In his latest Diamond Intelligence Briefs, “Keeping Stock of U.S. Kimberley Process Certificates”, industry analyst Chaim Even-Zohar takes another hard look at the U.S. rough diamond trade and the country’s half-hearted approach when it comes to implementing Kimberley Process (KP) certification standards domestically.
The 2016 KP Plenary kicked off yesterday in Dubai as KP Chair Ahmed Bin Sulayem welcomed representatives of 81 governments and industry organizations. First day activities included a third diamond valution forum addressing the elusive question of how to provide fair value for diamonds from Africa and achieve a formalized approach to valuing diamond resources.
Current KP Chair Ahmed Bin Sulayem wasn’t the first to contemplate the possibility of integrating blockchain technology in the diamond industry, when he addressed the KP members during the Intersessional meeting last summer. In recent months, the term “blockchain” has been popping up more and more in conversations within the industry, especially on how the technology could increase transparancy, which in turn can for example, optimize operations or enhance a company's bankability.
In the lastest installment of the Diamond Intelligence Briefing (DIB), diamond industry analyst Chaim Even-Zohar presents a searing indictiment of the rough diamond trade in the United States, "The world's most convenient and 'uncontrolled' rough transfer market", claiming that, "The main justification for the overwhelming bulk of the (U.S.) rough trade is pure transfer pricing*." This rough diamond 'stopover' in the U.S. also "endangers the integrity of the legitimate U.S.
As part of his ‘Africa Initiative’, KP Chair Ahmed Bin Sulayem has met the President of Burkina Faso, Roch Marc Christian Kabore, for discussions on compliance, border controls and legitimization in rough diamond trade. "Burkina Faso, despite being a non-diamond producing nation, has developed a reputation for its willingness to address the illicit trade across a number of commodities, including rough diamonds," the KP Chair said in a statement.
The UAE is considering the introduction of so-called blockchain technology to the global diamond trade in a bid to help prevent conflict diamonds getting on to the market, according to a report in the UAE's The National. Blockchain is an Internet-based book-keeping system that provides a permanent record of financial transactions. Applying it to the diamond business could establish a tamper-proof record of the provenance of diamonds.
The World Diamond Council (WDC) will hold its 12th Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City from September 7-9. The AGM will discuss the Kimberley Process (KP), the implementation of the WDC’s first-ever Strategic Plan, and an enhanced communications platform. The WDC represents the diamond industry in the development and implementation of regulatory and voluntary systems to control the trade in diamonds embargoed by the United Nations or covered by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.
Kimberley Process Chair Ahmed Bin Sulayem has visited the Central African Republic (CAR) where he met President Faustin-Archange Touadera and Mines Minister Leopold Mboli Fratran. CAR resumed exports of rough diamonds earlier this month after a three-year ban when an internecine war broke out with both sides accused of using diamonds to fund their activities. Mining was is due to resume once other zones in the western part of the country are declared compliant.
ALROSA Vice-President Andrey Polyakov has become World Diamond Council (WDC) President, succeeding Edward Asscher whose two-year term as President ended on May 22. Polyakov has served as WDC Vice President since 2015. WDC members come from the entire international diamond industry supply chain, from mining to retail. The group represents the diamond industry in the development and implementation of regulatory and voluntary systems developed by the United Nations and the Kimberley Process to eradicate trade in conflict diamonds.
"Very few speak of the good diamonds have done for some of the poorest people in the world," write Mark Boston and Vinod Kuriyan in a blog article on GemKonnect. "Of the positive influence on communities in literally every single continent barring uninhabited Antarctica." With the world's attention grabbed by evils such as terrorists, people traffickers, sex slavers, and drug cartels that destroy millions of lives, good deeds don’t get the sort of publicity that evil does.
The International Grown Diamond Association (IGDA) was launched last month, and industry analyst Chaim Even-Zohar quickly revealed flaws in its structure as well as major transgressions against accepted nomenclature, according to a blog on GemKonnect. In addition, the IGDA doesn’t seem to have done anything about the hugely important issue of the undisclosed mixing of lab-grown diamonds with parcels of natural stones. And the recently revealed scandal of CVD-created diamonds being sold with GIA grading reports has done little to calm nerves.
The UAE is also making efforts to have Partnership Africa Canada rejoin the process after civil society groups withdrew from the KP in protest at the UAE's election as 2016 Chair, Dubai Diamond Exchange Chairman Peter Meeus tells IDEX Online. "Their non-participation in the Kimberley Process in 2016 under UAE’s chairmanship is a source of deep regret. We have now reached the point where the World Diamond Council (WDC) has agreed to mediate the matter between the two sides.
Kimberley Process Chair Ahmed Bin Sulayem has warned of the ongoing difficulties facing the global diamond industry and expressed the UAE's commitment to act responsibly to overcome challenges. “2016 will be a challenging year for our industry with continuing oversupply, low commodity prices and tightening liquidity," said Bin Sulayem. "The social impact of these combining factors is likely to be severe and felt across large parts of the world's diamond producing regions.”
Civil society members of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) will boycott the organization next year in protest at the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) chairmanship of the international body that combats conflict diamonds. The 11 members of the Kimberley Process Civil Society Coalition say the UAE's chairmanship crosses a red line due to "widespread concerns over UAE's lenient standards and antagonistic relationship with the Coalition," according to a statement from Partnership Africa Canada (PAC).
World Diamond Council President Edward Asscher has rejected a report by London-based Amnesty International last month that said diamond trafficking was helping to fuel violence in the Central African Republic. The Kimberley Process has removed “more than 99 percent” of so-called conflict diamonds from the market, Asscher said in an interview with Bloomberg Business. "The diamond council [WDC] gladly re-invites Amnesty to participate and join us and the civil society coalition looking into aspects of CAR and the whole Kimberley Process," he said.
The reputation of the global diamond industry may face a threat from illegal money transfers from developing countries and emerging markets to safe-haven locations. GemKonnect reports on industry analyst Chaim Even-Zohar's report on a supposed $4.5 billion discrepancy between the annual 2014 rough diamond production estimate of the Kimberley Process (KP) and the estimate from the 2015 Diamond Insight Report published by De Beers last month.
KP Chair Bernardo Campos said that Angola managed to put an end to the ban on of the diamonds from Central Africa Republic, settled the KP vice chair issue between Australia and the United Arab Emirates, and bring Venezuela back into the organization after an absence of six years.
In a confidential report, a UN Security Council expert panel says conflict diamonds continue to fuel conflict in the Central African Republic, as diamonds from areas that are under direct or indirect control of armed groups, including Amada Gaza region, are smuggled out of the country via neighbouring country Cameroon. The reports cites various cases of diamond trafficking through Cameroon border towns Gbiti, Kenzou and Yaounde.
Australia has officially withdrawn its bid to be the KP Vice Chair to Angola, leaving the door open for United Arab Emirates to become Vice Chair. Australia and UAE signed a bilateral agreement stipulating certain commitments made by UAE with regard to the KP. Foremost among them is that UAE will host a KP review visit commencing 27 September 2015.
Zimbabwe is considering submitting a bid for the chairmanship of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme which is currently held by Angola. Mines and Minerals Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa said the issue of submitting a bid is being carefully considered. He said Zimbabwe is a proud member of the KPCS and has contributed immensely to the defence of the diamond body. "It is not out of line for us to submit a bid.
In his latest blog, Rob Bates takes stock of who will be the next KP Chair. The United Arab Emirate's bid was and is much contested by NGO's, Bates says, but it appears Dubai will assume the chairmanship next year - if Dubai agrees to certain conditions - after Australia backed out at the recent KP Intersessional in Luanda, Angola.
During the KP Intersessional in Luanda, Angola, KP Chair Bernardo Campos gave an overview of the first six months of the Angolan KP Chairmanship, in particular the projects providing technical assistance extended to Central Africa Republic, the leading role in the retrieval of the exports of diamonds from Cote d'Ivoire, as well as the clarification of some matters concerning Venzuela. Campos expressed the KPCS's hope that work can continue to enable the Central Africa Republic to resume its exports of diamond the earliest and Venezuela to overcome its self-suspension.
The impasse regarding the second most important post of the Kimberley Process, whose vice presidency is being disputed by Australia and Dubai still remains without a sign of consensus. In this context, the chairman of the Kimberley process, Bernardo Campos, explained that Australia will deliver a statement in the meeting, which may put an end to the impasse.
Kimberley Process (KP) Chair Angola is preparing to host the organization’s intersessional meeting which starts on Monday and runs until June 26. The meeting will bring together more than 200 delegates from 54 members representing 81 countries to debate its activities since the plenary meeting held in China last November 2014 and to discuss subjects for the plenary session due to be held in Luanda in November.
Rough diamond are the biggest source of export revenue for the Central African Republic (CAR) even though it has been suspended from the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme since May 2013, says the Enough Project, which placed a value of $39 million for its diamond trade in 2014 and almost $13 million for the January-April of this year.
Zimbabwean state-owned newspaper The Sunday Mail claims the US and Australia are conspiring with NGO’s and local opposition members against Zimbabwe, which they attribute to Zimbabwe’s support for the United Arab Emirates’ candidacy, challenging the Australian bid, as Vice-Chair of the Kimberley Process. The newspaper claims Washington is behind “exaggerated” and “falsified” reports on illicit diamond trading in Chiadzwa, trying to destabilize the country “by sponsoring activists to pose as illegal vendors” and other “smear campaigns” that claim the country is in deep crisis .
The American State Department has published an update on participating countries and entities in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, with the latest revision following an update from August, 2014 to reflect some changes to country trade bodies, to add Mali and to restate the suspension of Venezuela and the Central African Republic (CAR) from trading rough diamonds.
Having finalised the procurement process for Kimberly Process Certificates this year, the government announced that the country’s mining sector will soon realise potential growth. A new entrant which would be mining diamonds at Dvokolwako mine is expected in about six months. The investor to be granted mining rights must be able to extract the diamonds, contribute to the surrounding community and also invest in processing the mineral locally. Most applicants are from South Africa.