The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), as the diamond trade’s chief watchdog, said on Friday it would continue to give its full support to the Kimberley Process (KP) and any future decision to allow Zimbabwe to resume rough diamond exports.
In May, WFDB president Avi Paz said in a media report that the deadlock in the KP decision-making process and its experts’ ensuing indecision over whether to allow rough diamond exports from Zimbabwe to resume, could cause “irreparable damage” throughout the diamond supply pipeline and trade.
But, the federation now remained confident that participants at the KP meeting, to take place next week in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, would remove the barriers preventing the export of rough diamonds from the controversial Marange deposits.
But, Paz said the WFDB would also want the Zimbabwe government to “step up to the plate”. “The Zimbabwean authorities will have their work cut out to meet and uphold the criteria to enable the country to export its diamonds and benefit from the resources it so desperately needs.
“Surely, the world at large will scrutinise Zimbabwe carefully, as its leadership will need to ensure that its mineral resources will lead to genuine sustainable development and increased prosperity for its people,” he added.
In the past few weeks, Paz has been encouraged by the constructive and positive comments from the KP chairperson Mathieu Yamba and members and participants, as well as World Diamond Council president Eli Izhakoff’s view that the issue remained mostly a procedural matter.
In May, Izhakoff also told Mining Weekly Online the matter was procedural and that stakeholders have a similar aim, but opinions differed and the issue for the KP was on how to consolidate these differences.
Paz reiterated that until a formal announcement was made, all members of the WFDB were to continue to follow the KP’s and the WFDB’s directives not to trade in rough diamonds from Marange, or any other rough diamonds that do not have KP certification.
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Meanwhile, Paz said contrary to reports and various commentaries published, reports of the KP’s death are “very much exaggerated”.
“In fact, in spite of the numerous and difficult obstacles the KP has encountered during the past year, it is very much alive and its participants across the board are strongly motivated to ensure that it continues to fulfil its mandate,” Paz stated.