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

Take lightly challenge of synthetic diamonds at own peril – Namibia mines minister

06 november 2019

namibia_flag.pngThe emergence of the lab-grown diamonds present a peculiar challenge that natural diamond producers should take lightly at their own peril, Namibia’s mines minister has said. 
Minister Thomas Kavaningilamo Alweendo told a diamond mining conference in Gaborone, during a panel discussion on harnessing the power of collaboration to unlock opportunities, that Namibia and Botswana, for example, need to think of better ways to tackle this challenge and others.
“The benefits of diamonds in our countries are immense, especially in Namibia and Botswana, however we cannot rest on our laurels as they are challenges to come and I think together we can collaborate and find a solution,” he said.
Although lab-grown diamonds are a small fraction of the market, industry experts such as Paul Zimnisky have projected that they will grow by 22% annually.
The projected growth will be driven by continued advancement in technology.
He said the two countries will also face old mines.
“There some challenges that we are going to experience going forward, for example in both Namibia and Botswana, our mines are getting older and more and more expensive to extract diamonds from,” said Alweendo.
Namdeb, a joint venture between the government of Namibia and De Beers, recently sold its Elizabeth Bay Mine as it could no longer economically run the operation.
Meanwhile, the Namibian mines minister said governments should now be involved in the marketing of diamonds rather than leaving that to the diamond companies.
“For me the conventional model where companies pay for advertisements is no longer sufficient for us going forward and therefore we need to have collaborative efforts where we collectively tell the story,” he said.
“But that will only happen, unfortunately, when people, especially the communities where diamond mining takes place, believe they have a stake or derive benefits from the mining sector.”
Alweendo also said governments and companies should accept the new order of realities.
He said consumers as the only true source of value of diamonds are starting to demand that, “we don’t harm the environment where diamonds come from, and also that the people who work on our mines are working safely”.

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