De Beers Has a Clean-Up Plan for Blood Diamonds – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – April 19, 2018)

Diamond mining giant De Beers plans to fix one of the industry’s oldest problems: the reputational stain of artisanal mining.

The world’s top diamond miner is set to start a pilot program in Sierra Leone that will help trace the route from mine to consumer for what it calls ethically-sourced artisanal gems.

The Anglo American Plc unit will train miners and provide them with equipment to digitally track their finds, and aims to buy the first such stones from them this year.

Artisanal mining only accounts for about 20 percent of global diamond production, but carries an ugly reputation that’s damaged consumer confidence for decades.

The issue of blood diamonds took root during Sierra Leone civil war in the 1990s, but gained widespread recognition after the the 2006 Leonardo DiCaprio movie “Blood Diamond.”

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