Blood diamonds aren’t a girl’s best friend – by Karen Attiah (Washington Post/Santa Fe New Mexican – August 28, 2021)

Diamonds, I’m sorry to say, aren’t Beyoncé’s best friend — even if the Grammy Award-winning artist and her new corporate partner, Tiffany and Co., would like to make it so.

Last week, Tiffany released a new campaign featuring Beyoncé, husband Jay-Z — and the famed 128.54 carat yellow Tiffany diamond, discovered in South Africa in 1877 at the Kimberley Mine by Charles Lewis Tiffany. His iconic company gleefully lauded the fact that Beyoncé is only the fourth woman — and first Black woman — to wear the glamorous necklace; her predecessors include Audrey Hepburn, who wore the stone in publicity photos for her 1961 movie, Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

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What is ultimately at stake in the Tiffany diamond row? It isn’t Beyoncé’s ethics – by Arwa Mahdawi (The Guardian – September 1, 2021)

It doesn’t matter how rich, grownup or successful you might be, sometimes your mum still feels the need to come to your rescue. Tina Knowles-Lawson, AKA Beyoncé’s mum, has just had a very sharp word on social media with critics of her daughters’ new advertising campaign.

Beyoncé, you see, has been getting some flak for wearing a 128-carat yellow diamond in a new campaign for Tiffany & Co. She is only the fourth person in the world to have worn this fancy diamond apparently, and she is the first black woman to wear it.

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China Driving Global Diamond Demand – by Paul Zimnisky (Solitaire International – August 2021)

Mainland Chinese jewellers continue to open new stores at a record pace as the government stimulates domestic consumption.

In the company’s most recently concluded fiscal quarter, i.e. calendar-Q2, China’s largest jeweller Chow Tai Fook said it saw company-wide sales soar 70% year-over-year driven by “buoyant consumer sentiment” in Mainland China and “continued recovery” in Hong Kong and Macau markets.

However, perhaps most notably management also said that the company opened 259 net new stores, all in Mainland China, bringing the company-wide total to 4,850 (see below chart).

Chow Tai Fook’s store count has surged in recent years as the company uses a franchising model to leverage “local knowledge” in new Mainland China markets. The strategy allows the company to penetrate smaller but rapidly growing cities colloquially referred to as “Tier III, IV and V” sized cities.

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New Australian technology tracks down gold thieves and blood diamonds – by Jessica Sier (Australian Financial Review – July 30, 2021)

Geologist and chemical scientist John Watling can tell you exactly where your diamonds come from.

Not just what the Tiffany’s or Cartier packaging says, or the murky certification offered by the world’s largest diamond miners, De Beers and Alrosa, but right down to the exact patch of dirt in the exact mine.

Used for more than 20 years by West Australian police investigators to catch gold and diamond thieves, Watling’s provenance company Source Certain this week announced a deal with SCS Global to become the embedded technology in a new international standard to combat blood or conflict diamonds – gems mined illegally in war zones.

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India’s Conflict Diamonds: Buxwaha – by Anish Tore (News Click – July 20, 2021)

A new ecological social contract may emerge if the Save Buxwaha Forest movement attains its objectives.

They say diamonds are forever. So is the ecological damage diamond mines cause, say environmental activists protesting against the proposed diamond mine in Madhya Pradesh’s Buxwaha forest.

Blood or Conflict Diamonds is a term used for organised crime networks in African countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone, Congo, Angola etc, where the money from diamond smuggling is used to fund endless civil wars. A diamond mine in Buxwaha may generate another kind of conflict, one between man and nature.

The Buxwaha forest movement is different from earlier environmental struggles in some crucial ways:

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(Updated) Environmental group claims legal victory over De Beers for mercury reporting failures – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – July 6, 2021)

Diamond miner contends mercury never used at Victor operation, chemical element is ‘naturally occurring’ in James Bay region

A victory in court against De Beers Canada “sets a precedent” on reporting and regulating mining pollution in Ontario’s Far North, according to an environmental law organization.

Ecojustice said its “eight-year struggle for accountability” from the global diamond producer came to an end when the company pleaded guilty in a Timmins courtroom last week to one count of failing to provide mercury monitoring data from pollution streaming from its Victor Diamond Mine in the James Bay region.

De Beers Canada operated the open-pit Victor diamond mine, 80 kilometres west of Attawapiskat First Nation, from 2008 to 2019.

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Tensions Rise over Definition of Conflict Diamonds – by Joshua Freedman ( – July 5, 2021)

RAPAPORT… A recent global meeting of the Kimberley Process (KP) ended in controversy as Chinese delegates allegedly clashed with a representative of nonprofit organizations on the issue of conflict diamonds.

Attendees from China interrupted a closing statement by Shamiso Mtisi, the coordinator of the Civil Society Coalition, after he criticized the country’s approach to the matter, Mtisi claimed this week. Part of the Chinese delegation left the Zoom meeting in protest, according to another participant.

Speaking at last month’s intersessional, Mtisi singled out China, India and Angola for failing to make progress on the KP’s definition of conflict stones, a central point of debate within the KP.

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Gems discovered in South Africa are ‘quartz, not diamonds’ (Al – June 21, 2021)

Gemstones that sparked a diamond rush to eastern South Africa last week are just quartz after all, according to preliminary findings.

Thousands of people had flocked to a hillside in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province to dig for mysterious stones first unearthed by a cattle herder and believed to be diamonds.

The rush prompted the government to send geoscientists and mining experts to collect samples for testing, the results of which quashed the dreams of diggers hoping to strike it rich.

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Liam Neeson’s ‘The Ice Road’ Netflix Movie: What We Know So Far – by Tigran Asatryan (What’s On – June 7, 2021)

Netflix has made another big purchase at the European Film Market along with Christian Bale’s The Pale Blue Eye and Colin Firth’s Operation Mincemeat. The third film the streamer acquired is The Ice Road, starring Liam Neeson.

The film that Netflix bought for $18M will be distributed by Netflix in the US (other regions’ availability not yet known) from June 2021. The Ice Road was written and directed by Jonathan Hensleigh, writer of Die Hard With a Vengeance, Jumanji and Armageddon.

Hensleigh also wrote and directed 2004 action movie The Punisher that starred Thomas Jane. The Ice Road is produced by Aperture Media (The Trial of Chicago 7, Atomic Blonde), Envision Media Arts (Mr. Church, Death of Me) and Code Entertainment (Kill the Irishman, Drowning Mona).

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De Beers Unit’s Gigantic Diamond Could Be Third-Biggest Ever – by Mbongeni Mguni (Bloomberg News – June 16, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — Debswana Diamond Co., a unit of De Beers Plc, unearthed a 1,098 carat stone in Botswana on June 1, the largest since the company began operations five decades ago.

Preliminary analysis suggests the stone is the world’s third-largest gem-quality diamond ever after the Cullinan Diamond that was discovered in South Africa in 1905 and the Lesedi la Rona that was found in Botswana in 2015, according to Debswana acting Managing Director Lynette Armstrong.

Valuation by the Diamond Trading Co. Botswana is due in a few weeks and at this point, Debswana can’t say whether the rock will be sold by De Beers or through the Okavango Diamond Co., a state-owned trader that also holds the right to buy Debswana stones, Armstrong said.

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WATCH: Thousands rush to dig for diamonds in South Africa – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – June 15, 2021)

The South African government has launched a formal investigation into claims made on social media of the existence of massive diamonds within easy reach near the town of Ladysmith, about 360 kilometers (224 miles) southeast of Johannesburg.

The country’s Department of Mineral Resources and Energy ordered people on Tuesday to halt the search as thousands continue to travel from across South Africa to join villagers who have been digging in the area since Saturday.

The Department noted it was sending a team of geological and mining experts to the site to collect samples and conduct an analysis.

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‘Get on with your jobs’: Keir Starmer takes aim at Rhodes row Oxford dons after they refused to teach students – by Eleanor Harding (Daily Mail – June 15, 2021)

Sir Keir Starmer has demanded Oxford dons ‘get on with their jobs’ after they refused to teach students in a row over a statue of Cecil Rhodes. The Labour leader told academics it was unfair to punish ‘hard-hit’ students in their quest to remove the colonialist.

He waded into the furore after 150 lecturers threatened to stop tutorials for Oriel College students until the statue is removed from its building.

When asked yesterday if he supported the dons, Sir Keir urged them to end their boycott immediately. He told LBC News: ‘Get on with the job of teaching people. Let’s get our feet back firmly on the ground and teach the students.

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Diamond versus diamond – by Carolyn Gruske (CIM Magazine – June 08, 2021)

Even though man-made diamonds have the potential to satisfy our appetite for sparkle, they may never rock the mined-diamond industry

It was just a single word, but by deleting one adjective from a federal guideline, a U.S. government agency redefined an elemental form and forced a North American retail industry – and its customers – to come to a new understanding of one of its oldest and most traditional products, diamonds.

That change created even more uncertainty for a segment of the mining industry that is already prone to cyclical highs and lows. The deleted word was “natural.”

Prior to the change in 2018, the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Jewelry Guides – which the agency produces to help structure the market for precious metal, pewter, diamond, gemstone and pearl products – described diamonds as “natural stones that are formed of pure carbon crystallized in the isometric system, as long as they have been symmetrically fashioned with at least 17 polished facets.

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As Germany Acknowledges Its Colonial-Era Genocide in Namibia, the Brutal Legacy of Diamond Mining Still Needs a Reckoning – by Steven Press (Time Magazine – June 10, 2021)

Steven Press is the author of Blood and Diamonds: Germany’s Imperial Ambitions in Africa, available from Harvard University Press.

Between 1904 and 1908, Germany’s military and leadership oversaw the killing of at least 80,000 Africans in what is now the independent country of Namibia. On May 28, Germany apologized. Declaring his country’s past violence in Namibia “genocidal,” Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also pledged $1.3 billion in aid to Namibians, whose capital, Windhoek, still has a prominent street named after Otto von Bismarck.

The German apology is a commendable step and important precedent. But its parameters are inadequate, and one reason why may be embedded in your family’s heirloom engagement ring.

Millions of carats in diamonds have been exported from Namibia since 1908. These same sparkling stones have a dirty history tied to German colonial rule. Right now, official statements about Germany’s debt to Namibia do not account for those gemstones at all.

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NUNAVUT MINING: De Beers considers carbon-neutral diamond mine near Iqaluit – by Ezra Black (Nunavut News – June 8, 2021)

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De Beers has set an ambitious goal to make the Chidliak Project its first carbon neutral diamond mine. Consequently, the company is looking to build a low-impact operation using renewable energy and cutting-edge technology.

The project is located on the Hall Peninsula of Baffin Island, approximately 200 kilometres south of Pangnirtung and about 120 kilometres from Iqaluit.

Due to the large number of kimberlite pipes – carrot-shaped geologic formations that often contain diamonds – De Beers is looking to design the operation using high-tech mining techniques, according to De Beers spokesperson Terry Kruger.

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