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The Marange Imbroglio Need For a Long Term Solution
Diamond World examines the issues involved and asseses the long term prospects for a smooth flow of rough from the Marange fields, which some industry estimates say could contribute a significant share of the rough to world markets in coming years .
By: Diamond World News Service
Aug 25 2010 12:23PM
Reference: 5245  

In the meanwhile, the review mission will submit a report which will then be considered by the KP Monitoring Committee, which will then decide on future exports from the Marange field on the basis of the report. In any case, industry sources say, final decisions will probably only emerge and be ratified at the next Plenary scheduled for November 2010, in the normal course.

That the Zimbabwe government’s earlier hard stance had softened considerably was evident from Mpofu’s statement welcoming the deal and pledging cooperation with the KP. "We will be able to export Marange diamonds," African media quoted Mpofu as saying after the decision was reached. "Zimbabwe is ready and willing to work with the (Kimberly Process) because we know the value of cooperating with the organisation."

However, it was also reported that in Zimbabwe, Finance Minister Tendai Biti described the KP decision as "progressive," but said the country would export the diamonds only after resolving a legal dispute over the land involving UK based African Consolidated Resources (ACR).

So, while the industry has no doubt let out its breath on the arrival at a consensus, everyone is clear that this is by no means the end. What happens after September remains to be seen, including on what further steps the Government of Zimbabwe will take to secure control over the mines, and what legal issues arise with ACR.

Matters of Concern

The major concern in the entire issue, of course, has been of human rights violations and forced mining by government authorities, which has been widely discussed. And in a broader sense is the concern that rough which is not routed through legitimate channels deprives the country and its people the benefit of revenue for expending on basic necessities.

Also, apart from the question of blood diamonds entering the mainstream diamond industry, diamantaires all over the world have been concerned about some other aspects and repercussions as well, should the Marange production go out of KP control.

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