At the Russia-Africa Economic Forum being held over October 23 and 24, 2019 in Sochi, Russia, in conjunction with the Russia-Africa Summit, ALROSA co-organised a session on ‘Russian-African Collaboration in the Diamond Industry’.
“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,” ALROSA said, underlining the importance of cooperation between the two diamond mining power houses.
Participants in the session outlined key challenges confronting the global diamond industry and possible ways to resolve crucial issues. “They also shared their vision on the diamond industry’s prospects and discussed the role of industry organisations in strengthening consumer confidence in diamonds and building global responsible supply chains for ethical rough diamonds from Africa,” ALROSA said elaborating on the discussions.
The high powered list of speakers at the session 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 (ADPA) Tom Alweendo; President of the World Diamond Council (WDC) Stephane Fischler; Board Chairman of the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) Killian Ukama; CEO of the Diamond Producers Association (DPA) Jean-Marc Lieberherr; Managing Director of Okavango Diamond Company Marcus ter Haar; CEO of Namib Desert Diamonds (NAMDIA) Kennedy Hamutenya; and Special Adviser to the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy of the Republic of South Africa Sandile Nogxina.
ALROSA CEO in his address noted that the current crisis in the diamond market is taking place against the background of drastically transforming consumer opinions, as consumers today pay more attention not only to the diamond jewellery characteristics, but also to relevant responsible business practices.
“We should focus on fundamental factors that lead to the evolution of the entire diamond industry,” said Ivanov. “The modern society imposes increasingly stringent requirements on us. Warranties of transparency and responsible sourcing and business practices, respect for human rights, minimizing the environmental impact, 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,” said Van der Veken. “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.”
After the discussion, participants drew up a list of basic principles, observance of which will promote sustainable development of the global diamond industry. Enumerating the various points, ALROSA said 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,” ALROSA noted.
Remarking that Africa is one of the most promising regions in the world in terms of diamond reserves, ALROSA — whose key operations are concentrated in Russia – went on to note that it also has assets on that continent, namely 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.
New Source : gjepc