De Beers’ GemFair delivering ‘positive impacts’ to ASM sector in Sierra Leone – David Johnson

GemFair, a pilot project developed by De Beers to create a secure and transparent route to market ethically sourced artisanal and small-scale mined (ASM) diamonds, is already delivering “important positive impacts” in Sierra Leone. Group head...

11 november 2019

Belgian-quality diamond boiling in Dubai from TRIGEM

Born in New York, David Zabinsky is CEO & Co-Founder of TRIGEM, an independent diamond service provider in Dubai. Before TRIGEM, David was Manager at Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone, where he was responsible for securing North and South American investment...

05 november 2019

Pavel Shelkov: "Our project is an attempt to fit Russia into the global trend and create a new private company in the diamond industry"

At the end of September, Moscow hosted the Second Annual Conference, "Gold and Diamond Mining Companies of Russia and Europe." The audience showed great interest to the presentation made by diamond geologist Pavel Shelkov of Almazy Zapolyarya...

28 october 2019

The team that turns sleeping stones into beautiful polished diamonds

Maxim Zemlyakov is the Director General of ADMS OOO, a company cutting and polishing natural and synthetic diamonds in Oryol. He has been the Director General of Oryol-ALROSA since 2007. Before heading it, he worked as a grinder, cutter, instructor...

21 october 2019

Demand will pick up once the season starts

N Anantha Padmanaban took charge as the Chairman of the All India Gem & Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC) in January 2019. He has immense hopes and confidence in the Indian jewellery sector. His motto is to ‘ensure that after the day’s business...

14 october 2019

Zim diamond workers demand salary increment

26 june 2019

The Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Minerals Workers’ Union (Zdamwu) has requested an urgent meeting with the National Employment Council for the mining industry to consider salary increment as hyperinflation returns to the southern African country.
The annual inflation rate in Zimbabwe jumped to 97.85% in May from 75.86% in the previous month.
Zdamwu general-secretary Justice Chinhema was quoted by NewsDay as saying workers in the diamond industry were facing economic hardships although the industry was a leading foreign currency earner for the country.
“The current economic situation has seen inflation skyrocketing and prices of basic goods and services rising beyond the reach of many workers, eroding the already below a living wage (salaries) being earned, leaving them on the verge of destitution. Therefore, the need for an urgent wage increase,” he said.
“The situation on the ground is volatile; your intervention in this matter is urgently sought. The negotiated 80% increase, and backdated to January 2019, has been eroded and never addressed the situation … instead it created confusion in the industry.”
Chinhema said Zdamwu’s position was that the industry generates foreign currency and all employers in the industry retain from 50-80% US dollars after selling the minerals. 
“We are also aware, as you are, that the balance is being paid using interbank exchange rates,” he said.
“Workers must also be paid in line with the above arrangement.”
Zdamwu’s demands appears to have been overtaken by events as the Zimbabwean government announced the scrapping of the multi-currency regime that had been in place since 2009.
The move effectively banned the use of foreign currency to pay for goods and services in the country.
Workers will receive their salaries in the local currency.
Harare re-introduced the Zimbabwe dollar as it seeks to starve off the parallel market of the greenback, which, it said, was driving inflation. 

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished