Monday, October 31, 2011

Diamantaires expect decision on Zimbabwe roughs at Congo meet

The $43 billion worth Indian diamond industry expects a positive outcome on the question of export of rough diamonds from Zimbabwe at the plenary meeting of Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KLCS), which began at Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Monday.

The diamantaires expect the central government to play an important role in this regard. They are hopeful that it would be able to convince US, EU, UAE, Australia, Canada and other member countries to end their opposition to exports from Zimbabwe. About 75 member countries including India - considered a founder member of KP - are participating in the meeting which will take key decisions on various issues including on Zimbabwe.

The Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) said the KP's approval on the export of rough diamonds from Zimbabwe would mean a lot for the tens of thousands of diamond workers in Surat. Being the representative of the largest stakeholder in the diamond manufacturing world today, the council decried the divisions that are stopping the export of diamonds .

"The politicisation of the process is demeaning the good efforts of the industry in forging an effective alliance and creating a mechanism against conflict diamonds in today's world. Being one of the founders of KP, we will not allow these happenings to stop the rightful means of African people to earn from their own resources," said Rajiv Jain, chairman, GJEPC.

"India remains committed to compliance with Kimberly Process and expect the members to arrive at a common position on Marange mine," said Jain. Industry sources said the decision on Zimbabwe was eagerly awaited in Surat. "The rough diamond prices have appreciated by more than 50 per cent in the past few months. It is because of the depleting diamond production in the mines world over. However, only the Marange diamond field in Zimbabwe, which is one of the biggest finds in the history of diamond mining, can fill the prevailing demand- supply gap and help the Surat industry," said Chandrakant Sanghavi, chairman of Sanghavi Exports.

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