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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
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Aug 25 2010 12:23PM
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Reference: 5245  

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The issue of Marange diamonds has long confounded the stakeholders of the diamond industry. With NGOs and other concerned parties ranged on one side and the Zimbabwe government on the other, the KPCS and other world bodies found themselves as mediators caught between the crossfire. At one point, the KPCS itself came within the firing line and found itself under a sharp attack. However, a consensus was reached at the crucial mini-summit at St. Petersburgh in mid-July, providing an immediate, albeit a temporary resolution of the crisis. 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 . July 15th 2010 was a red letter day for the diamond industry. After several years marked by controversy, conflict and a confounded situation during which rough diamond exports from Marange were banned, a consensus was finally reached which allowed for two supervised exports from Marange to take place in the coming couple of months. This decision was reached at the mini summit of the KP which took place alongside the WDC meeting in St. Petersburg on July 14th & 15th.

The significance of the mini summit was underlined by the attendance of a high level delegation from the US led by Susan Page, the assistant deputy secretary of state, and Zimbabwe’s Minister for Mines Obert Mpofu and Attorney General Johannes Tomana, apart from other international delegates.

"If this is a victory for anyone, it is a victory for the Kimberly Process," said KP Chair Boaz Hirsch. "The past several months have been difficult, but they have clearly demonstrated that not only does the Kimberley Process have teeth, it also is able to achieve results."

This came as an answer to the months of criticism that the KPCS itself had been facing including doubts raised in some quarters about its efficacy and ability to achieve real results, or keep out conflict diamonds from the mainstream diamond business.

Under the consensus agreement, Zimbabwe would be allowed two exports from July to September. The first export would only take place after a review mission and KP Monitor Abbey Chikane go to Zimbabwe and give the go ahead for the export, on the basis of compliance. The KP Monitor Chikane will then return to Zimbabwe in September and certify the second export, if he is satisfied that compliance parameters are met.

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