Alrosa, one of the firms mining diamonds in Zimbabwe yesterday co-organised the “Russian-African Collaboration in the Diamond Industry” session held as part of the Russia-Africa Economic Forum business programme in Sochi, Russia.
The firm last year established an affiliate company, Alrosa Zimbabwe Limited and in July this year, it signed an agreement to establish a joint venture with the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) to prospect, explore and develop new primary diamond deposits.
Russia and African countries account for about 75 percent of the global rough diamond production and are interested in the sustainable development of the global industry.
Participants outlined key challenges the global diamond industry faces and possible ways to solve crucial issues.
They also shared their vision on the diamond industry 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.
Discussants included Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando and Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) board chairman Mr Killian Ukama; 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, and Minister of Mineral Resources and Petroleum of the Republic of Angola Diamantino Pedro Azevedo.
Mr Ivanov said the crisis in the diamond market takes place against the background of the drastically transforming consumer opinions, as consumers 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,” he said.
“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, social and economic development of the regions of operations are important today as never before.”
Iris Van der Veken, the executive director of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), moderated the session.
After the discussion, participants formulated a list of basic principles, observance of which will promote sustainable development of the global diamond industry.