Tag Archives: african blood diamonds

Gem Diamonds: South Africa..No impact on Letseng from Lesotho crisis

lesotho-gems-diamond in the rough image www.worldwidediamonds.info

Gem Diamonds, owners of the Letseng mine in Lesotho, released a statement on Monday saying it did not anticipate any impact on operations from the political crisis in the tiny land-locked nation.

Prime Minister Thomas Thabane fled Lesotho for South Africa on Saturday after the military in Lesotho disarmed police in the capital, Maseru, in what the prime minister called a military coup.

Talks between the different factions mediated by South African President Jacob Zuma appeared to have some success with Lesotho’s leaders agreeing to a roadmap with a “clear timeline” to re-open parliament.

London-listed Gem Diamonds Limited said it “has seen media reports of army activity in Maseru, Lesotho but, at this stage, our management in Lesotho report that Maseru is calm and there is no disruption whatsoever at the company’s Letseng mine which is situated some 4 hours from Maseru in the mountains.”

“It is not anticipated that there will be any impact upon operations at Letseng nor upon any of the company’s sales and marketing operations in respect of the Letseng production,” according to the company.

Gem Diamonds owns 70% of the Letseng mine and the rest belongs to the Lesotho government.

Since it took control in 2006 the mine the company has produced four of the top 20 largest white gem quality diamonds on record.

Image: The Letšeng Legacy is currently ranked as the 16th largest rough white diamond ever recovered. Courtesy of Gem Diamonds

Henry Sapiecha

pink diamonds line image www.worldwidediamonds.info

Blood diamonds still a problem from hell it seems

infographic-blood-diamonds-still-a-problem-from-hell image www.worldwidediamonds.info

More than ten years after the creation of The Kimberley Process, a certification scheme established to prevent illegally mined diamonds from filtering into the market and fuel armed conflicts, the problem is far from being over.

Only last week, Cameroon and Chad agreed to tighten border security to halt the illegal flow of these so-called “conflict” or “blood” diamonds, which are said to be sponsoring armed groups in neighbouring Central African Republic.

While Peter Meeus, Chairman of Dubai Diamond Exchange says diamonds are the most strictly checked raw materials in the world, there is a certain amount of illegally traded gems that make it into the market.

Henry Sapiecha

pink diamonds line image www.worldwidediamonds.info

‘Blood diamond’ monitoring to retain focus on conflict-torn regions

blood-diamonds image www.worldwidediamonds.info

The newly elected president of the World Diamond Council, Edward Asscher, put a chill Tuesday on the movement to expand the scope of the Kimberley Process and so cover general human rights abuses, stating the trade body should focus exclusively  on diamonds proceeding from conflict zones.

Speaking at the Intercessional Meeting of the Kimberley Process In Shanghai, Asscher said he supported increasing the scope of a global monitoring of the trade in rough diamonds to counter all forms of organized violence, not only those associated with civil wars. However, he drew a line at “other social and humanitarian challenges”, saying this task should be left to other industry actors.

Currently the KP only addresses diamonds produced in areas controlled by rebel militias. It doesn’t take into consideration violence committed by governments.

Poster for campaign in France, highlighting the costs of conflict diamonds image www.worldwidediamonds.info

“The implementation of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme in 2003 saved many lives,” he said in his speech. “Its effectiveness inspired further confidence in our product, the diamond.”

KP only addresses diamonds produced in areas controlled by rebel militias. It doesn’t take into consideration violence committed by governments.

Henry Sapiecha

pink diamonds line image www.worldwidediamonds.info