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KP Plenary ratifies agreement on Marnage diamond exports
Permits rough diamond exports from two KP compliant mines with immediate effect
By: Diamond World News Service
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Nov 2 2011 4:41PM
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Reference: 6442  

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Members of the Kimberley Process have ratified an agreement at the KP Plenary Meeting in Kinshasa, which ‘permits’ exports of rough diamonds from two KP compliant mines – Marange Resources and Mbada, with ‘immediate effect’. This achievement was expressed by the WDC President Eli Izhakoff as ‘a real miletsone’ and also welcomed by the World Diamond Council. "This is a real milestone, and demonstrates categorically that the Kimberley Process provides the framework through which the integrity of the rough diamond chain of distribution can be protected, while at the same time enabling producing countries gain benefit from their natural resources," added Izhakoff. He noted the valuable contribution of the KP Chair, Mathieu Yamba, in facilitating the agreement.

The agreement also has gives a scope for other mining operations in the Marange diamond fields to be permitted for rough diamond exports but only after verification of their compliance with KPCS minimum requirements by the KP Monitoring Team, which will receive full access to the mining sites. This team will visit Zimbabwe within 14 days of the Plenary Meeting, to examine if a third mining operation in the area, Anjin, is KP compliant for permitting rough diamond exports; and further pay similar visits to any other new mine within 14 days of receiving an invitation.

The key element of the agreement is transparency of operation, and as such compliant mining operations in the Marange region require to share mine level data with the KP Monitoring Team regularly and the KP Civil Society Coalition representatives in Zimbabwe will have access to the Marange area for continued reporting on KPCS implementation.

The KP monitoring team will include Abbey Chikane, a former Chair of the Kimberley Process, and Mark Van Bockstael, Chair of the World Diamond Council Technical Committee. In the event that the two are unable to reach agreement, the issue will be referred to the Working Group on Monitoring for recommendation to the KP Chair.

Zimbabwe has committed to uphold the KPCS minimum requirements and will report to the current KP Plenary and the KP Intersessional Meeting in 2012 on issues related to identifying further investors, regulation of artisanal mining, the fight against illicit digging and smuggling. The new agreement will remain under constant review and will remain in force until the KP Plenary Meeting in 2012.

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