The current crisis in the diamond market takes place against the background of the drastically transforming consumer opinions, as consumers today pay more attention not only to the diamond jewelry characteristics, but also to relevant responsible business practices.
This is according to Sergey Ivanov, CEO of ALROSA, a partially state-owned diamond mining company in Russia. He said this during the Russia-Africa Economic Forum business programme in Sochi, where ALROSA has acted as a co-organiser of the ‘Russian-African Collaboration in the Diamond Industry’ session.
Russia and African countries together account for about 75% of the global rough diamond production and are truly interested in the sustainable development of the global industry.
The participants outlined key challenges that the global diamond industry faces today and possible ways to solve crucial issues. They shared their vision on the diamond industry prospects and discussed the role of industry organizations in strengthening consumer confidence in diamonds and building global responsible supply chains for ethical rough diamonds from Africa.
In his message, Ivanov said the industry should focus on fundamental factors that lead to the evolution of the entire diamond industry. “The modern society imposes increasingly stringent requirements on us. Warranties of transparency and responsible sourcing and business practices; respect for human rights; minimising the environmental impact; and social and economic development of the regions of operations are important today as never before.”
Iris Van der Veken, Executive Director of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), moderated the session. “It is an honor to moderate the discussion on the Russian-African collaboration in the diamond industry. We thank ALROSA – certified member of RJC – for taking leadership. This is a great opportunity to unite and act, changing the situation for the better. Global partnerships are the way forward – to achieve peace, sustainable economic growth and development, and transform the lives of people.”
Following the discussion, the participants formulated a list of basic principles, observance of which will promote sustainable development of the global diamond industry.
The list includes: sharing the best practices in the development of human resources and health and safety issues; gradual reduction of environmental footprint of diamond mining; supporting community in the regions of presence; strengthening the regulatory mechanisms of international diamond trade; ensuring complete and clear product disclosure and differentiation with lab-grown diamonds; building of responsible supply chains; promoting generic marketing for polished diamonds.
Practical application of these principles will be discussed at the future diamond related international events, including those to be held during the Russian Chairmanship in the Kimberley Process in 2020.
Africa is one of the most promising regions in the world in terms of diamond reserves. ALROSA’s key operations are concentrated in Russia, there are also assets in Angola and Zimbabwe. ALROSA owns 41% of the largest diamond miner in Angola, Catoca Ltd Mining Co, established with the participation of the Russian company back in 1993. In addition, ALROSA has a Kimang exploration joint venture with Angola’s national diamond-mining company ENDIAMA.
In 2018, ALROSA established an affiliated company in Zimbabwe, ALROSA (ZIMBABWE) Limited. In July 2019, ALROSA and the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) signed an agreement to establish a joint venture (JV) to prospect, explore and develop new primary diamond deposits in the country.
Discussion participants included:
- Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation Dmitry Kobylkin;
- Deputy Finance Minister of the Russian Federation Alexei Moiseev;
- Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yury Trutnev;
- CEO – Chairman of the Executive Committee of PJSC ALROSA Sergey Ivanov;
- Minister of Mineral Resources and Petroleum of the Republic of Angola Diamantino Pedro Azevedo;
- Minister of Mines and Mining Development of the Republic of Zimbabwe Winston Chitando;
- Minister of Mines and Energy of the Republic of Namibia, Chair of the African Diamond Producers Association Tom Alweendo;
- President of the World Diamond Council Stephane Fischler;
- Board Chairman of the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company Killian Ukama;
- CEO of the Diamond Producers Association Jean-Marc Lieberherr;
- Managing Director of Okavango Diamond Company Marcus ter Haar;
- CEO of Namib Desert Diamonds Kennedy Hamutenya; and
- Special Adviser to the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy of the Republic of South Africa Sandile Nogxina.