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Don’t trade in Zimbabwe stones, says WDC

World Diamond Council meeting
The World Diamond Council was created in July of 2000. It consists of representatives from diamond manufacturing and diamond trading companies. The World Diamond Council was implemented to support and improve the Kimberley Process in an effort to eradicate conflict diamonds. According to its website and press releases, its members have agreed to provide assurance to all purchasers up to final sale that their diamonds came from conflict free sources. This assurance, called the 'System of Warranties,' involves a written statement on all invoices declaring that, to the best of the supplier's knowledge, the diamonds are from conflict free sources

Close on the heels of the US and the EU issuing warning to India, the World Diamond Council (WDC) has asked all the members in the international diamond community to refrain from trading in rough diamonds from Zimbabwe until the situation and the status of these goods become clearer.

It, however, applauded the decision taken by the new Kimberley Process (KP) chairman Mathieu Yamba of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to bring an end to the impasse that exists regarding the status of production and stocks from Zimbabwe’s Marange diamond field.

The WDC statement noted, “The WDC understands that a number of KP participant countries, including the United States, Canada, Israel and the European Union (EU) are seeking clarity on procedural issues surrounding the release and have indicated that exports from Zimbabwe should not be permitted until these issues have been explained and resolved.”

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The US and EU had issued warning for not dealing in Zimbabwe diamonds. The names of those companies and individuals found dealing in the Zimbabwe stones would be published on the government websites and their transactions will be monitored by the Office of the Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

Industry sources said efforts are going on to untangle the new situation wherein the US and the EU have taken tough stand against those dealing in Zimbabwe goods including India.

“We are hopeful that a solution will be reached soon regarding the Zimbabwe issue,” said Sanjay Kothari, vice-chairman of Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). “Till then the industry should refrain from dealing in Zimbabwe goods,” Kothari added.

Sources said the KP chairman has allowed export of rough diamonds from Zimbabwe, subject to oversight by the KP monitor, while deferring discussion on unresolved issues to the meeting of the KP’s Working Group on Monitoring (WGM) scheduled in November 2011. “It is difficult to untangle the Zimbabwe issue.

The WGM meeting of the KP is scheduled in November and the diamantaires will have to wait for the final decision,” said a DTC sightholder. The Times of India