JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The ban on diamond exports from conflict zones is proving successful in curbing so-called ‘conflict diamonds’ from being sold into official and black markets, thereby reducing their use as a potential source of finance for rebel groups.
This is according to nonprofit diamond industry representative organisation World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) president Ernie Blom.
He tells Mining Weekly that the Kimberley Process (KP), which has an interest in both domestic and international issues related to the mining and marketing of diamonds, has been “totally successful” in rooting out the international supply chain areas that are a source of conflict diamonds and blocking those channels. This has eliminated the appeal of operating directly, or by proxy, with those involved in sourcing diamonds from conflict zones.
The volume of conflict diamonds entering the market is currently less than 0.2% of global turnover, notes Blom, adding that, when the issue of diamonds being mined illegally in conflict zones came to international prominence in the early 2000s, the volume of conflict diamonds entering the international market was about 4% of global yearly turnover.
Thus, while a small volume of conflict diamonds are still finding their way into the international market, Blom notes that, at less than 0.2%, the industry considers this to be a successful reduction, as, despite efforts to tighten export controls, there will always be an avenue into diamond black markets.
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