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NOSIPHIWO MZAMO MANAGER: Mineralogy

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  1. ARE YOUR DIAMONDS CONFLICT – FREE? NOSIPHIWO MZAMO MANAGER: Mineralogy

  2. THE DIAMOND FACTS “ The diamond industry is vital to the Southern African economy.” — Nelson Mandela • 65% of the world’s diamonds come from African countries • Approximately $8.5 billion worth of diamonds a year come from African countries • Approximately 5 million people have access to health care due to diamond revenues. • An estimated 10 million people globally are directly or indirectly supported by the diamond industry. • Revenues from the diamond industry help provide necessary counseling, testing, education, treatment programs, clinics and hospices for HIV/AIDS patients. • Conflict diamonds have been reduced since the implementation of the Kimberley Process in 2003. • Source: www.diamondfacts.org

  3. WORLD DIAMOND PRODUCTION AND SALES IN 2009 Source: Kimberley Process Certification Scheme

  4. WORLD DIAMOND 2009 IMPORTS Source: Kimberley Process Certification Scheme

  5. Where are your diamonds from and what is their history?

  6. WHAT ARE CONFLICT DIAMONDS? • Conflict diamonds are diamonds illegally traded to fund conflict in war-torn areas, particularly in central and western Africa • The United Nations (UN) defines conflict diamonds as • "...diamonds that originate from areas controlled by forces or factions • opposed to legitimate and internationally recognized governments” • The diamond industry estimates that conflict diamonds represent 4% of the total • trade in rough diamonds. Others have estimated that conflict diamonds could • amount to as high as 15% of the total trade.

  7. THE KIMBERLEY PROCESS • Certification scheme to control movement of diamonds across borders • Runs on consensus only – unique, but fragile too (SA played strong role in creation) • Conflict and illicit diamonds not the same - KP mandate is ‘conflict diamonds’ • Several working groups making up the KP core; chaired annually by member states in rotation (Israel was the KP chair in 2010 and the current chair is the DRC) • The Working Group of Diamond Experts (WGDE) represented by the South African Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator, with Mintek participation at their request • WGDE often asked to review controversial parcels – current decisions based on shape / colour / surfaces : risky and qualitative • SADPMR-Mintek Diamond Provenance Laboratory aims to develop a forensically sound method for KP and SA

  8. MINTEK DIAMOND PROVENANCE PROJECT • Diamond provenance seeks to identity the origin of a diamond by comparing diamond characteristics  to profiles for different sources • Mintek and the SA Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator (SADPMR) have •      launched a project in 2009 to study the possibilities of determining the origin of •      rough diamonds • The heart of the project is a new laboratory facility in Mintek's Mineralogy division,  funded by the SADPMR, which is using a two pronged approach by studying the physical as well as chemical characteristics of gem-quality diamonds • The lab is equipped with a state-of-the art equipment including a Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (LA-ICP-MS) for trace element measurements • Diamond provenance will be useful for the purpose of identifying conflict diamonds

  9. THE SCIENCE BEHIND…………………DIAMOND THEORY Diamonds are composed chiefly of the element carbon – but can also contain nitrogen and tiny amounts of “trace elements” C C N C C N C N C TE C Carbon & Nitrogen C C C N Trace elements (TE) that may occur in diamonds

  10. OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT • Build a SADC database from mainly alluvials, characterising shape, colour, surface features, breakage, infrared spectra, trace elements • Develop a forensic method for diamond provenance, and ascertain if this can be used for discrimination • Emphasis on real production type samples – gems not coated stones / boarts etc. • Control ABSOLUTELY the provenance of the samples • Share information with sample providers and the scientific community • Build local skills and methods with all interested parties

  11. SAPDMR PERSPECTIVE

  12. WHERE ARE WE NOW? • A standard procedure for diamond characterization has been developed • Ten parcels of diamonds from various African localities have been fully characterized and the results analyzed • Indications that subtle but distinct variations can be made between diamond parcels and that homogeneity exists in the diamond parcels • Extension of the dataset is in progress: only with large numbers of characterized stones can we determine whether diamond discrimination can be a viable forensic process

  13. MINTEK GOING FORWARD • Approach diamond origin in a holistic manner : • Building a comprehensive database to evaluate the source of diamonds • Greater volumes of stones from different sources will be used to really comprehensively build up the database • These will be used to further assess diamond discrimination potential. • The knowledge gained in this study will be used for application with other conflict minerals

  14. THE SADPMR-MINTEK PROVENANCE LABORATORY

  15. Thank you