Diamond Trade Watchdog Ponders Fate of Russian Gemstones
The debate would focus on whether to broaden the KP’s definition of conflict diamonds to include state actors.
The certification system, introduced in the early 2000s, defines conflict diamonds as precious stones used to fund rebel movements seeking to undermine legitimate governments.
The KP has the power to prohibit exports of gemstones from certain countries, such as it’s done in 2013 when the rebels took power in the Central African Republic.
The Chairman of the World Diamond Council, Edward Asscher, believes that the Russian-Ukrainian conflict should be kept out of discussions held this week.
“As I have stated publicly, regardless of how I or my colleagues may personally feel about the terrible events in Central Europe, a war between two sovereign states clearly does not fall within the current mandate of the KP,” the chief said. of the industry body. told the plenary.
“It is a fact, and we would be compounding a tragedy if we allowed war in Europe to harm what we are capable of achieving in Africa,” Asscher said.
Back on the market
Russia’s Alrosa (MCX:ALRS), the world’s largest diamond producer in terms of production, has already been affected by sanctions of the United States and Great Britain. The Responsible Jewelery Council (RJC), the leading standards body for the global jewelery and watch industry, suspended Alrosa’s membership in April.
The miner, who accounts for around a third of the world’s rough diamond supply, is back selling over $250 million worth of diamonds per monthwith sales currently around $50–100 million per month below pre-war levels.
Although there are no indications that Alrosa has broken sanctions or laws, there is still widespread unease about the implications of dealing with Russian companies.
According to KP and UN estimates, the only current case of rebel forces controlling diamond-producing areas is in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa. This represents less than 0.1% of world production.