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New Major Diamond Association Looming

The major diamond industrial companies and miners are now getting together to formulate an association of diamond producers.

A meeting of eight representatives of the biggest diamond companies in the world meet just recently to form up an Industrial Diamond Association. The meeting was held in Rio Tinto’s London Headquarters and present were Industrial giants such as Anglo American P_Ls DeBeers, Russia’s Alrosa AO. Also present were Petra Diamonds Ltd., Gem Diamonds Ltd., Lucara Diamond Corp., Dominion Diamond Corp. and OAO Lukoil.
There has been no coordinated representation of the industry since the demise of the De Beers monopoly in 2004 and with the rise in manmade cheaper diamonds flooding the market the industry leaders feel this is a threat to their commerce.

According to a statement by Rio Tinto, “A meeting was held to assess the need for a producer association similar to other commodity-based organizations. The idea of the body is to promote the interests of diamond producers and the diamond sector more generally. We will continue the discussions with industry participants.”

It is expected the association will have an annual budget of 6 million dollars, no doubt supplied by the major participants.

The focus has been on manmade diamonds of late and William Lamb, the chief Executive of Lucara recently stated, “Synthetics pose one of the more noticeable threats,” He said that the rise of manmade stones was one of the topics discussed and a producers association would help to formalize an industry response to questions from consumers and investors on the issue.

“There was an agreement that it was time that we had something like this in place,” Lamb said.

Of concern is the practice of undisclosed mixing. This is where manmade stones are passed off as genuine diamonds and mixed in with genuine stones in a parcel. According to Bloomberg, The Times of India recently reported 110 manmade diamonds discovered in a parcel in the Indian city of Surat, the world’s biggest cutting center. The undisclosed mixing of diamonds has been discovered on several occasions in the nation with India’s Gem Jewellery Export Promotion Council starting the Natural Diamond Monitoring Committee to combat the issue.

The association will also work on the promotion of the industry and how to provide more information to consumers.


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