African nations threaten to quit Kimberley

IBTimes All diamond producing African nations are now rallying behind Zimbabwe threatening to leave the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme if Zimbabwe was not allowed to market its diamonds freely. African countries, led by diamond rich Namibia, has already conveyed this decision to the KP.

Western countries in the KP wanted to block Zimbabwe’s certification, although the KPCS monitor for Zimbabwe Abbey Chikane had produced a favourable and professional report on the mining activity at Chiadzwa.

President of the International Diamond Manufacturers Moti Ganz, and the president of the Moscow Diamond Bourse Alex Popov, also came out in support of Chikane, and against those trying to block Zimbabwe.

They said KP would be discrediting itself by failing to honour a report produced by one of its appointed monitors, Chikane, who has extensive experience in the diamond industry.

The two men also challenged KP for trying to ban Zimbabwe diamonds because of a report produced by diamond activists and mere observers.

Farai Maguwu, a self-proclaimed diamond activist was arrested for faking a document which was supposed to discredit the government’s role in the mining of diamonds at Chiadzwa.

The KP stood to be discredited if Zimbabwe had voluntarily walked out as President Mugabe and Mines and Minerals Development Minister Obert Mpofu, had indicated the country would do if these Anglo-Saxon groups kept blocking Zimbabwe’s certification.

African countries, led by Namibia, also threatened to walk out of the club if Zimbabwe walked out.

Cornered US, Australia, EU and Canada then agreed a deal that would have Zimbabwe export its diamonds with KP approval.

The last-minute deal brokered in Russia authorized Zimbabwe to sell two batches of diamonds under strict monitoring and regulation through September 1.

Mining experts estimate that Zimbabwe’s diamond fields are likely the biggest deposits found in Africa since the Kimberley fields were discovered in South Africa a century ago.

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