Training in diamond valuation is key for artisanal miners

Ian Rowe, the Executive Director of the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) was appointed in September 2019, having joined DDI as Deputy Executive Director a year earlier. Ian managed field operations in Sierra Leone within this role and led...

02 december 2019

Kangalassi 2.0: Raising the living standards, creating new jobs

At the V Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) held in early September in Vladivostok, the Yakut company SAYBM signed a tripartite agreement with two agencies - the Far Eastern agency and the regional one - for attracting investments and providing export...

25 november 2019

We live in a new dimension of environmental responsibility carried by business

In mid-October, Moscow hosted the VIII Ecological Forum attended by representatives from the State, large industrial companies, scientific and public organizations. The forum delegates discussed the issues related to finding a balance between the socio-economic...

18 november 2019

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

Sierra Leone community sues diamond firm for water contamination

12 august 2019

A community in Koidu, the largest city in Sierra Leone’s diamond-rich Kono district, has filed a lawsuit against diamond mining firm Octea Limited over the contamination of water, among other things.
Reuters reports that the complaint, filed in Sierra Leone’s High Court in March, claims $288 million in damages for “degradation or destruction of land, destruction of homes and loss of livelihoods and ...dumping of toxic mine waste,” inter-alia. 
A judge ruled on July 22 the case was “adjourned for judicial recess” until the end of September.
The 73 plaintiffs who all live within 500 metres of the mine say they have suffered coughing fits, respiratory infections and headaches from living around the mine, according to court documents.
Lawyers for the residents said they believe some of the health problems are the result of highly acidic water draining from the mines without proper treatment and affecting water sources nearby.
However, Octea, a subsidiary of BSG Resources, founded by Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz, said the allegations were “baseless and without merit.”

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