Imports of rough diamonds from the Marange Diamond Fields in Zimbabwe and gold mined in artisanal small mines (ASM) in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have been blocked by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on the suspicion of forced labor. The two items were on a list of five products from five different countries singled out for 'Withhold Release Orders' (WRO) which were issued "based on information obtained and reviewed by CBP that indicates that the products are produced, in whole or in part, using forced labor", the agency writes.
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 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).
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.
The U.S. sanctioned Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler, one of the biggest individual mining and diamond investors in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in what it calls a clampdown on human-rights abusers and corrupt actors, write Thomas Biesheuvel, Mark Burton, and William Clowes for Bloomberg Politics. The U.S. Treasury said Gertler has used his close relationship with the country’s president, Joseph Kabila, to amass a fortune through corrupt and opaque deals.
Koin International will hold a rough diamond tender in Antwerp from 7-16 November, featuring a wide variety of African goods. They will present an enlarged original production of Meya Minings (Sierra Leone) as well as, for the first time, the original Allotropes Run of Mine (Sierra Leone).
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
Thursday June 8, the US House of Representatives approved legislation to erase a number of core financial regulations put in place by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, as Republicans moved a step closer to delivering on their promises to eliminate rules that they claim have strangled small businesses and stagnated the economy, writes the New York Times.
The month of March will again see a full schedule of rough diamond tenders and sales in Antwerp.
Koin International will hold a rough diamond tender in Antwerp from 20 – 27 February, and will be presenting for the first time the production of IMDSA (Marine) as well as multiple other original rough mine productions. IMDSA is a new marine production mined in the seas of South Africa, comprising excellent models and gem quality production. Other productions on offer include Ekapa Minerals, ANGOLA F2M, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Guinea, and brand new Koin Manufacturers’ Assortments (consistent monthly fixed assortments, perfect for manufacturers).
"As a leading member of the U.S. Jewelry industry, we are writing to express our support for Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the corresponding Securities and Exchange Commission’s Conflict Minerals Rule.
The Bakwanga Mining Company (Societe Miniere de Bakwanga, or MIBA), a joint Belgo-Congolese company based in Mbuji-Mayi, Kasai-Oriental Province in south central DRC, denied having recovered an 87-carat white diamond worth more than $6,000,000.
Koin International, a specialist rough and polished diamond tender house, will hold a diamond tender in Antwerp from 26 – 30 September for multiple original rough productions. The productions include large single stones from the Namakwa North West Mine in South Africa as well as orginal stones from Guinea; Koin will have over 50,000 cts of original Angola production on offer (Koin assortments) from ANGOLA F2M, and full Run of Mine from Democratic Republic of Congo.
Koin International will be offering a range of African rough production for sale in Antwerp from September 6 to 13. The tender features 10.80ct+ single stones and 30,000 carats of 6gr down stones. In addition, there is original run of mine output from the Krone-Endora mine at Venetia from Diamcor, from melee through to large single stones. There will be original tailings from the Klipspringer mine in South Africa, original production from Guiter in Guinea and from Sierra Leone of melee to single stones, and original production directly from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) yesterday announced that it has received a $30,000 grant from the Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF) to support the second year of programming at the mobile school in the mining village of Kankala, of the Kasai Occidental province, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Diamond Empowerment Mobile school was one of the first two in DDI’s “Sending Schools to Kids” remedial education program – offering children the opportunity to leave the mines and go back to school, w
According to figures recently relased by the Kimberley Process, 2015 global rough diamond production fell 4.2% in value to $13.88 billion even as the volume of output increased 2.1% to 127.4 million carats. Accordingly, the average value of production fell 6.2% from $116.17 to $108.96 per carat. Russia widened its lead over Botswana as the largest producer of rough diamonds in terms of volume and value. Russia’s increased its 2015 production 9.4% to 41.9 million carats, good for a 14% increase in value to $4.24 billion.
Koin International will be selling original rough production from five African countries, including diamonds from Mothete in Lesotho, full original run of mine production from the Krone-Endora mine in South Africa, large single stones from the alluvial Namakwa North West mine in South Africa, more than 36,000 carats of original 'First to Market' Angola production sorted by Koin International, original tailings from the Klipspringer mine in South Africa, and original production directly from Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The tender will run from June 20 to 23 in Antwerp.
The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), an organization dedicated to improving the working conditions and lives of artisanal diamond miners, is announcing the launch of the Maendeleo Diamond Standards (MDS), the organization anounced today in a press release. Maendeleo, the Swahili word for development and progress, is a fitting designation for standards that will ensure respect for human rights, for the environment and for community well-being, according to Dorothée Gizenga, Executive Director.
Reports from multiple sources are starting to detail the murky structures hiding the tremendous wealth accumulated by certain players in the diamond and gold trade that emerged through last week's release of the Panama Papers.
Rough diamond analyst Paul Zimnisky takes a comprehensive look at the current and projected output for the entirety of the diamond mining industry, concluding that "2016 global diamond production by-volume is forecast to be 137 million (M) carats, or +1.3% over 2015 estimates," despite efforts by De Beers and Rio Tinto to limit global diamond supply. Stable Russian production, new mines, and production increases by Dominion Diamond Corp and Petra Diamonds in particular, he writes, will serve to offset these efforts.
Amnesty International has published a new report, together with Afrewatch (Africa Resources Watch): “This is What We Die For: Human Rights Abuses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Power the Global Trade in Cobalt”, traces the sale of cobalt used in lithium-ion batteries from mines where children as young as seven and adults work in perilous conditions. It claims that major electronics brands, including Apple, Samsung and Sony, are failing to do basic checks to ensure that cobalt mined by child laborers has not been used in their products.
A new report by the Groupe d'Appui aux Exploitants des Ressources Naturelles (GAERN) in collaboration with Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) details "the atrocious acts committed by unauthorized government agencies in the artisanal diamond mines in rural Mbuji- Mayi, a town in Kasaï-Oriental Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo." The report presents the results of a field study of artisanal diamond mining sites that interviewed almost 500 people from ten sites in the town, and draws damning conclusions about the level of corruption, extortion and even physical abuse that leaves the mini
From Devex Impact: The mining industry is often affiliated with large-scale operations and massive capital investments, but small scale miners form the bulk of the sector. Artisanal miners — mainly in developing countries — number approximately 100 million worldwide. This year marks five years since the passage of the controversial Dodd-Frank Act (D-F). It was intended to boost transparency and crack down on the number of conflict minerals whose proceeds have fueled conflict in the region. It has achieved measurable results.
In an open letter responding to the Time Magazine article "Blood Diamonds", the Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF) says the article, claiming that despite the industry's efforts to ban conflict diamonds the mining industry is still "tainted by conflict and misery", paints in inaccurate picture of the situation in producing countries such as the DRC and CAR.
Mining and commodities giant Glencore, which recently became the face of struggling commodity companies hit by a major sell-off in raw materials, unveiled a $10 billion package of debt-reduction measures. This includes plans to suspend production at its copper mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia in a move that it says will take 400,000 tonnes out of the market and potentially provide a boost to metals prices.
The Zimbabwe Diamond Technology Centre (ZDTC) - featuring $1 million worth of new laser technology from Indian firm Sahajanand - will soon offer cutting and polishing training to the southern African region as the company seeks to promote local value addition of diamonds across African producers. ZDTC chairman Lovemore Kurotwi told journalists, "I have signed a memorandum of understanding with some southern African countries. Botswana will send their people for training...
Photographer Lynsey Addario for Time Magazine took an inside look at the Democratic Republic of Congo's diamond mines. Conditions are harsh and poverty is rampant. The article notes that the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), along with diamond jewelry retailer Brilliant Earth, has set up a pilot program for young students at risk of sacrificing their education to work in the mines. Right now there are only two Brilliant Mobile Schools, as they are called, in Tshikapa, and demand is high. DDI hopes to build more, if they can raise more funds.
Out of 180 mines assessed over the past three years by teams of businesspeople, government officials, and civil society members, 141 in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have been declared as conflict-free, meaning there are no armed groups, including the Congolese army, and they do not use child labor or pregnant women. The process is taking place in the DRC for the first time and came about as a result of the Dodd-Frank Act on conflict minerals. The validation teams still need to travel to several other areas of the country.
The High Court in Dublin has grounded an aircraft allegedly owned by a state owned airline of the Democratic Republic of Congo from leaving Dublin Airport in a dispute over an unpaid debt of €10m. The interim injunction prevents both the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the airline the operates the aircraft, an Airbus A320 currently undergoing works in Dublin, La Société Congo Airlines, from moving, operating or otherwise interfering with the aircraft without their consent. The injunction also prohibits the aircraft's removal from the jurisdiction.
The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) will hold a conference in Kinshasa on August 27, 2015 on "The importance of the formalization of artisanal miners in the DRC". In partnership with PROMINES, DDI will invite experts to share their experiences in the formalization process. The conference will allow participants to better understand the activities of DDI, which are consistent with the vision of the Government of the DRC to transform of the artisanal mining sector. Artisanal production represents more than 80% of mineral production exported by the DRC.
Level Diamonds of Antwerp has announced a joint venture with Minico (DRC) for reopening and exploiting their mine in Western Kasai. The mine has reopened for production after almost a decade of standing idle. Following a year and a half of investments and reorganisation (administrative, operational) and a new management team, the mine is back to production. Having vast reserves in the hundreds of thousands of carats, the joint venture plans for the mine to deliver 7,000-10,000ct p/m within 6 to 12 months.
According to The East African, the Democratic Republic of Congo is relaxing rules for foreigners seeking to invest in key sectors such as agriculture and energy. The incentives include a payment of $10,000 for the acquisition of a foreign investor investment certificate and a fee of $120 for the registration of a company. Dealers in minerals such as gold and diamonds are required to pay $5,000 and $200,000 respectively for a licence.
The Carter Center has called on the Democratic Republic of Congo to reveal the terms under which state firm Gecamines sold the potentially rich Kawama concession to Mutanda Mining, owned by Swiss commodities giant Glencore and Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler's Fleurettee Group. Under Congolese law, the government is required to publish any transfer of state resources within two months, but the February sale of the Kawama concession only came to light through Bloomberg's (Washington Post) report. The IMF in 2012 suspended a line of credit to the DRC after failing to obtain sufficient informa
The Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF) is to provide a mobile school in the Kankala mining community of the Kasaï Occidentale province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The school will open next month and provide education for 25 children. It is one of eight schools being developed by the Diamond Development Initiative. The schools will bring teachers and materials to mining communities in remote locations for a condensed school year.
A Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) artisanal gemstone miner, Mubi Gemstone, said it is seeking a cash injection to expand its operations. The company mines sapphire and tourmaline in DRC and they have offices in Goma and Arusha.
Brilliant Earth and the Diamond Development Initiative are joining forces to bring education to children in mining communities. Brilliant Earth is the first sponsor of one of eight planned mobile schools in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The “Brilliant Mobile School” will welcome 25 students from the artisanal mining communities surrounding the Lungundi mine in the Kasai West Province.
We Will Win Peace follows the journey of two Congolese miners - Chang and Apocalypse - as they react to the competing pressures placed on them by Hollywood celebrities, rebel soldiers, student activists and, ultimately, their own families. The legislation mandates publicly traded companies to disclose whether they source conflict minerals, including gold, tin, tungsten and tantalum, from certain areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and surrounding African countries.
Members of the Congolese army are continuously involved in DRC’s (Democratic Republic of Congo) diamond trade, says Global Witness. Although prohibited by Congolese law, members of the military are mining minerals, forcing diggers and mineral traders to pay ‘taxes’, and participating in mineral smuggling. Congo is preparing for an international conference on conflict minerals that will take place in Kinshasa.
Cash flow challenges at DRC mining company Societé Minière de Bakwan (MIBA) have led to a significant volume drop of 27% in diamond production in the Democratic Republic of Congo.