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The Kimberley Process and the Chinese - New Article

MissStepcut

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Re: For NGOs, the KP Show must go on……

Thanks for sharing. I am a law student and will be writing a paper on international environmental law this semester: I definitely think I'll tackle extraction & the environment. It'll be interesting to see if diamond mining pulls out ahead relative to other extraction industries.
 

Regular Guy

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Karl_K|1314498810|3003155 said:
denverappraiser|1314473168|3001865 said:
It may be back, or maybe someone somewhere else will pick up the baton. ‘Crafted with Pride in Botswana’ has a certain ring to it…. :bigsmile:
That isn't as hard to do as it used to be ,,,,,,
Find a way to track the rough from the mine to the cutting factory, rdif? bar codes?
Buy out and hire Paul S. to set up and run a large cutting factory to cut them.
Build a BtoB online sales system.
Have Paul sell them through his dealer network, Market them through Jon, Wink and Todd for internet sales with John P. in charge of US sales.
Have John train a group of instructors.
Spend some $$$ on advertising after hiring some marketing experts.
Expand the network as fast as it is possible to train people.
Hire the best sales team in China they can find and have John teach them the Paul/John system for selling diamonds.
Do the same for India.
That would be a nice start right there :}


I rather do like this marketing plan.

As the captain used to say on Star Trek, the Next Generation...

....make it so!

One possible problem will be....sufficient interest.

That is to say, is there a tipping point we need to get to, for this plan to work?

As it is, there may be some drag to the system to pay a premium for additional attention to cut.

Presumably, an additional premium will be needed to accomplish the rest.

And, in the vision you have above, you'd want to go one of 3 ways:

a) go 100% ethically sourced, with the associated premiums expected

b) create a brand B within the existing system. But, will this create marketing problems for the light it throws on Brand A?

c) create a new extra entity, not recognizing Brand A, but using the same corporate platform as established with Brand A. Though least conceptually appealing, this may be the most successful?

Ira Z.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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There are more than one manufacturer who does this already in India.
However we do not see the demand from consumers as we did some years ago.
So yes, Canada pulling out of unprofitable work is providing financial benefits for poorer folk in 3rd world countries... in theory.

mined marked.jpg
 

denverappraiser

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The diamonds will continue to be mined in Canada because, well, that’s where the diamonds are. They will continue to be mined in accordance with Canadian law and, for the most part, that’s a pretty reasonable standard for all the things we’re talking about. At the other end, they will continue to be sold wherever the customers are because that’s where their customers want to live and that’s the way business works. You go to wherever your customers are. The path between these two isn’t a black box but neither is it entirely transparent and added costs in here MUST come with added ‘value’ or the system is destined to fail. There seems to be a shortage of customers who count Canadian cutting as extra value. OK, ixnay the Canadian cutter. The next one is proof of Canadian origin. Remember, it is or is not Canadian as a function of where it was mined, not how it’s marketed. It’s not Canadian origin we’re talking about, it’s what constitutes acceptable ‘proof’ of Canadianness. It’s easy for a dealer to make this claim at a cost of near zero but what does it do? The recent model involved government inspectors, licenses, official looking documents and such and this doesn’t seem to have been sufficiently valuable to justify the added cost. OK, ixnay the government watchers. What are the other options?
The cutting house knows where they bought their rough and they can buy product from a particular mine if they really want to. Is some sort of a statement from THEM sufficient for shoppers? That would be very inexpensive. They can, of course, lie about it too, so there needs to be some sort of credibility check applied to the manufacturer and, with much of the industry, the manufacturer is routinely deliberately kept anonymous for competitive reasons. What do they do? The miners can lie too. If the product of one mine is worth more than similar product of another, there is the opportunity to make a buck by smuggling between them so, as with the cutter above, there needs to be a credibility check on the miners. They DO know what they actually produce after all, anything less would be colossally bad business management, so the question is whether they’re willing to actually share this information. They also know who they sold it to, how long they had it, what they expected in terms of grading and pricing, how much they actually got, and a fair amount of other data that they may or may not want to share. Is a statement of some sort from the suppliers sufficient? Is a simple claim that a particular stone came from a particular mine and was cut by a particular cutter sufficient or does there need to be some sort of additional ‘proof’ of these things? If so, what?

I don’t have the answers to these questions and I doubt anyone else does either. My gut feeling is that a government solution, like most government solutions, is destined to fail and that a marketing solution like Karl suggests is FAR more likely to work. I also have no feel for whether or not there's a viable business opportunity here. My gut tells me there is. Most socially conscious consumers are better at talking the talk than walking the walk but there are enough legitimate ones that I think it could handilly support a brand or three. Frankly, I would rather see it happen somewhere OTHER than Canada. I certainly have no problem with the Canadians or with people buying their products but they're not, and never were, part of the problem and they don't seem to be the solution.
 

Karl_K

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Regular Guy|1314502845|3003230 said:
[

b) create a brand B within the existing system. But, will this create marketing problems for the light it throws on Brand A?

Ira Z.
You can not market a negative in the love business which is why the Canadian system failed and why anything I have seen since will fail.
People want to feel good about the purchase and talking about bad things is not a good way to make a sale.
However.... A video showing all the good the money from the sales of those diamonds are doing goes a very long way. Then have a short pamphlet to send home with the in person lookers and a website for the internet shoppers.

The key is got to be:
positive marketing
A worthwhile product. - it will not work on a poor product, but it can help the sales of a good product a lot.
Show proof that the money is doing good!
 

denverappraiser

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The Canadians themselves didn't really market a negative but their customers sold it as the ultimate in 'non-conflict' diamonds and you would be hard pressed to be more negative than that. Problems with Kimberley (the supposed subject of this thread) has kept it in the news and the news people LOVE the negative side of things. It would be difficult for a new brand to overcome this image but a good marketing campaign would go a long way and I've been amazed how companies have sculpted their image. Remember when Walmart refused to sell anything that wasn't made in USA? "Here's a photograph of the mine, and the miner, and the cutter, and his happy children in front of the new school in their village that was built with diamond proceeds". It works for the Save the Children types of charities and they are most definitely marketing love against a negative. It would take some creative data handling that wasn't possible even a few years ago but a collaboration between the mining company, the cutting house and the retailer working through the internet could produces an enormous amount of interesting material at little or no cost. A nice presentation doesn't seem out of the question. There is still the problem of building and maintaining the brand identity as one of trustworthiness but the same people who transformed Walmart seem like they might be up to the challenge. There's a whole industry for that and it's WAY bigger than the diamond business.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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denverappraiser|1314741420|3005736 said:
The Canadians themselves didn't really market a negative but their customers sold it as the ultimate in 'non-conflict' diamonds and you would be hard pressed to be more negative than that. Problems with Kimberley (the supposed subject of this thread) has kept it in the news and the news people LOVE the negative side of things. It would be difficult for a new brand to overcome this image but a good marketing campaign would go a long way and I've been amazed how companies have sculpted their image. Remember when Walmart refused to sell anything that wasn't made in USA? "Here's a photograph of the mine, and the miner, and the cutter, and his happy children in front of the new school in their village that was built with diamond proceeds". It works for the Save the Children types of charities and they are most definitely marketing love against a negative. It would take some creative data handling that wasn't possible even a few years ago but a collaboration between the mining company, the cutting house and the retailer working through the internet could produces an enormous amount of interesting material at little or no cost. A nice presentation doesn't seem out of the question. There is still the problem of building and maintaining the brand identity as one of trustworthiness but the same people who transformed Walmart seem like they might be up to the challenge. There's a whole industry for that and it's WAY bigger than the diamond business.

I agree Neil, and hey everyone - this is a great discusiion. But efforts by Martin Rap to start a fair trade diamond business and such attempts have all had trouble getting going.
And what if you promoted the do-gooder story - I fear some negative NGO lefty journo type would find the one person in the village who got the sack for whatever reason and destroy the credability of good efforts.

I have never had this conversation with the likes of the better run clean airconditioned Indian diamond manufacturers who provide schools and medical services.
They never seem to push that band wagon but clearly they could.
 

Regular Guy

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Garry H (Cut Nut)|1314754725|3005926 said:
I have never had this conversation with the likes of the better run clean airconditioned Indian diamond manufacturers who provide schools and medical services.
They never seem to push that band wagon but clearly they could.


Maybe you could say more about this, Garry.

I think you are saying that you know of some manufacturers that "practice" like fair trade practices, but succeed without making this part of their story, yes?

Is there anything else that characterises the way they do business that you would represent is part of either their actual success story, or part of their "elevator pitch" about who they are?

Ira Z.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Regular Guy|1314797270|3006241 said:
Garry H (Cut Nut)|1314754725|3005926 said:
I have never had this conversation with the likes of the better run clean airconditioned Indian diamond manufacturers who provide schools and medical services.
They never seem to push that band wagon but clearly they could.


Maybe you could say more about this, Garry.

I think you are saying that you know of some manufacturers that "practice" like fair trade practices, but succeed without making this part of their story, yes?

Is there anything else that characterises the way they do business that you would represent is part of either their actual success story, or part of their "elevator pitch" about who they are?

Ira Z.
One especially comes to mind, but several large modren building multi story factory companies have very good employment practices.
My point is that they themselves do not go out of their way to promote their policies and practices. So I do not want to embarrass them.
 

denverappraiser

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Garry, I agree with you. I think one of the problem areas has become the relationship with the NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) and our/their relationship with the press. They’re a whole lot better at tearing things down than they are at building things and they have long histories of an us vs. them mentality. Business in general, and mining related businesses in particular, are consistently portrayed as evildoers and the purpose of the saintlike NGO’s is to expose them. It’s pretty easy. Mining is, by it’s nature, a messy and dangerous business. Businesses in 3rd world countries tend to be corrupt, as do their governments, and what is and what is not ‘exploitation’ is subject to cultural context. Finding an example or 10 where westerners would see something as exploitive or destructive isn’t all that difficult and magnifying that through the media is no great problem. That’s what these people do, and that’s what brings in THEIR revenue sources (donations from the public and money extracted from companies who fear their wrath). It can become very self serving. Unfortunately, companies have learned to keep their heads down as a defense. I’m reminded of a saying that a cat that steps on a hot stove will never make that same mistake again. Unfortunately, he’ll never step on a cold stove either.

That’s my biggest problem with the Fair Trade Diamonds initiative that Mr. Rapaport is working hard to promote. It assumes a failure with corporate responsibility and solves it by transferring that responsibility to the Fair Trade group. THEY decide what is good and what is bad for the community and the workers, THEY decide what a company must do to earn their stamp of approval, and THEY decide whether a company has succeeded at it. Instead of putting the burden on the company making the sale to convince their customers that they’re a good citizen, it transfers this to an ‘independent’ organization that supposedly has only good and cheerful intentions. Scoundrels who meet the minimum standards can skate through and others who can’t or won’t jump through the hoops are out in the cold no matter how responsibly they otherwise do business and corruption within the NGO itself is completely without checks or balances. It’s not that I have a great problem with the Fair Trade initiative or that I even have a specific problem with the Fair Trade folks, it’s more that I fear the power that is inherent in the system and the old saying about power corrupting.

There was another interesting thread on this general topic a few days ago that didn’t really attract much interest, I suspect because it was just too far outside the box that brings people here. **edited by moderator. this thread has been merged with the current thread**
 

quaddio

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denverappraiser|1312206512|2981571 said:
So what’s a peacenik treehugger to do if you can’t rely on KP?

read

vote with wallet

not rely on KP in the first place
 

Regular Guy

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quaddio|1314833594|3006847 said:
denverappraiser|1312206512|2981571 said:
So what’s a peacenik treehugger to do if you can’t rely on KP?

read

vote with wallet

not rely on KP in the first place


Then...rely on what?


I seem to be showing up a lot here lately. Hopefully it's to a good purpose.

Neil, when I saw your most recent note in this thread, I did think of the separate thread you finally linked to. I hope it is not politics and such that kept you from entering it, but I am glad you referenced it here.


Not entirely sure what to say. Yes, of late, NGOs are reporting. Maybe that is what is causing Ephraim and you, Neil, & Garry, and others to comment on same. Darn those NGO. Drawn like moths to the flame. Rap has also reported on them in the last couple of days, here:

http://www.diamonds.net/News/NewsIt...we:+Rampant+Abuses+in+Marange+Diamond+Fields+

The argument can be made, these miners are there illegally, and what's a company to do.

Part of the problem does seem to be our insensitivity. In the separate problem of starvation now in Africa, with so many suffering, the example of the starving puppy has been suggested as a best way to wake folks up. It seems the hugeness of the problem is too difficult to comprehend, but people get the starving puppy, and might respond.

And so, Neil, where you say:

Instead of putting the burden on the company making the sale to convince their customers that they’re a good citizen,

it's not clear to me that we're well enough in touch with what's going on to expect what you might expect to be generally expected rational decision making on the part of consumers. It's hard to connect the dots for us, I believe. And, consequently, I can be criticized fairly for not being willing to spend more to get the well vetted diamonds. But, we might not give up, and could look to make the connections work where they are too disparate.

I haven't yet heard the longer presentation by Rap, though hope to soon. But, I've heard the beginning. I hear him say .... we've tried this effort before, and maybe didn't succeed, but, you know what, he said, you've got to stick, hammering on the good, and find your way that way. That does sort of make sense to me. Is there another way?

Is another way used here, on Pricescope? And...look what success there has been, moving the 4 Cs focus from color & clarity to cut, as here:

https://www.pricescope.com/wiki/diamonds/what-diamond-to-buy/

I worry about the details, for how solutions are carried out, and as well, for how problems are conceived of.

Yes...power corrupts, and you could say that one person's different culture, is also their way of doing business.

But, for us, as consumers with a choice, how unreasonable is it to ask for a line to be drawn in the sand. Is it possible there are gray areas, still? I read now from Rap's fair trade website that there will be grades for ethical certification.

http://www.diamonds.net/fairtrade/

This could be troubling. But, some things are not so hard to understand, and I see that he's been walking this process step by step. From the site above, you can see where he layed out the following in August of last year:

Martin Rapaport defined the Rapaport Minimum Standard for human rights on August 25, 2010 at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai, India as follows:

“All diamonds that are legal and not directly involved in severe human rights violations should be freely, fairly and legally traded.”

Note, the bolding and italics are my additions.

While these purchases of jewelery are luxury items, highly elective in nature....I do think in so many instances....it will be helpful if we can pave the way to best practices for doing business.

Hopefully we can figure out a way to make it both cost effective in the process, and also, let the best practices serve as a light to those others who might like to share in benefits these practices can provide & afford.

Ira Z.
 

denverappraiser

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Unfortunately , most people are unprepared to mine and cut their own diamonds. They MUST rely on someone else to assist with this and there is no direct evidence that it’s been ethically done. Legally and ethically produced diamonds do not look any different. Someone said they were such and we decide to believe them ( or not) but this doesn’t change any of the physical attributes of the merchandise. If this is going to be part of the shopping criteria, and I believe it should, we have just added a completely non-gemological property to the ‘value’ equation. How then do you evaluate such a property? Any such evaluation boils down to the level of trust in whoever provided the information. Trust=100% and we have no issue. Similarly, if trust=0% and we have no issue. It’s ALL about the grey in between and our own comfort levels. Who do you trust? Your jeweler? DeBeers? Kimberley? The jewelry manufacturer? The Canadian government? The government of Zimbabwe? Martin Rapaport? Me? Fair Trade organizers? Global Witness? Strangers on an Internet forum? There’s no shortage of choices but none of these seems to really convincing for a variety of reasons and there are significant differences in what these people are saying and they are not all compatible. Reading is good, but often it just makes this particular problem worse. Read what? Believe what? Voting with your wallet is absolutely right; but how do you be an informed and rational voter?

It starts with the jeweler. That’s who’s getting your money and that’s where the ‘vote with your wallet’ happens, but it goes well beyond that. He/she got it from some cutting house (probably). That’s where the nexus of information is and that’s who could be empowering the retailers to really make a convincing argument that THEIRS is the one you should buy for these non-gemological reasons. They know where it came from, or at least they could if they wanted to. They know who cut it, when, and how. To an extent, they even know where it goes after it leaves their hands.

As Garry points out, there are some highly responsible and very large players in this business and they choose to remain silent for a variety of reasons, mostly I think having to do with the way the competitive marketplace for diamonds works. They don’t want to undermine their customers and their own distribution channels. I get it, but surely there’s some sort of middle ground between throwing open your books and remaining completely anonymous. Perhaps it’s possible for them to continue to stay out of it directly while still empowering their dealers with the info. Perhaps create a record accessible by their clients over the Internet with the mine of origin, dates, photographs, scans, etc. Data distribution is relatively free these days so go ahead and include information about the cutter, the village, the school their kids go to, and so on. Heck, a good data manager may be able to link it to how the kids are doing in school. :twirl: The dealers can use or ignore whatever they want and present it in whatever way they think will work well for their own market.
 

Regular Guy

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denverappraiser|1314887568|3007358 said:
It starts with the jeweler. That’s who’s getting your money and that’s where the ‘vote with your wallet’ happens, but it goes well beyond that. He/she got it from some cutting house (probably). That’s where the nexus of information is and that’s who could be empowering the retailers to really make a convincing argument that THEIRS is the one you should buy for these non-gemological reasons. They know where it came from, or at least they could if they wanted to. They know who cut it, when, and how. To an extent, they even know where it goes after it leaves their hands.


Neil, your post concerns me. It does this because it suggests that where an important black box exists, you have a set of assumptions about information, that is different from mine, and since you are an expert, I'd like to think you're right...but other experts have used language to say I think something different.

This is the one point left out of my most recent set of thoughts, which usually includes too many elements, so let's make it just one thing right now. Which is this, which needs to be a question, with maybe many spokes, but it is really one question, which is...what is the diamond mining process, and what are the implications of it.

The important suggestion from others, inconsistent with your quote above, is that the main process for the majority of diamonds mined is that there is a significant mixing that goes on in the processing of diamonds, making the sourcing of specific diamonds nearly impossible to do, using current practices. Unless, specific diamonds are excerpted from that process, and handled differently, allowing then specific sourcing information to travel back with the diamond.

Because of this "mixing," it has left for me not credible the idea that Blue Nile can know that Zimbabwe's diamonds are not included in what they get. Unless...expert knowledge suggests these diamonds are not included early in the process.

I hope someone can address more clearly this really single idea. It is mentioned enough here, and it has logical consequences.

Ira Z.
 

quaddio

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Regular Guy|1314853158|3007158 said:
quaddio|1314833594|3006847 said:
denverappraiser|1312206512|2981571 said:
So what’s a peacenik treehugger to do if you can’t rely on KP?

read

vote with wallet

not rely on KP in the first place


Then...rely on what?


I seem to be showing up a lot here lately. Hopefully it's to a good purpose.
Ira Z.

Yes very insightful thread.

Rely on your best judgement, with input from first point. Also start from a skeptical view - it's the luxury goods industry! I found most of the non-conflict diamond marketing unconvincing, and today's 'rebels' are tomorrow's legit rulers in turbulent countries.

I'm buying some diamonds https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/options-for-3-stone-emerald-cut-rhr-2ctw.164736/ and chose a soft option. Certified non-conflict by EGL Int may not provide that warm fuzzy feeling associated with Canadian stones, but it's a signal in the right direction. Regardless of whether the price difference is justified, the benefit gained by paying the premium (avoiding conflict/reducing suffering) may also be achieved by charitable giving (e.g. girls education in developing countries, child poverty, fistula repair).
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Re: For NGOs, the KP Show must go on……

Meanwhile some interesting news informs us that there still seems to be a smaller number of illegal miners being abused, shot at and attacked by guard dogs. The instigators of these attrocities seem to be from two sources:
1. soldiers, police and other Govt entities assoiciated with Mbada Diamonds - seemingly secretly owned and controlled by Govt personalities - who have also just sponsored the building of a new soccer stadium.
2. The guards employed by Chinese owned entity Anjin who run the other govt approved mine in Marange.
(The chinese again!!!)

Anywhere in the world it is legal to use guard dogs. But not to chain people up.

And illegal mining is frowned on everywhere.
It is not straight forward
 

Regular Guy

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So, we have the problem(s) of guilt by association. This, of course, is what the issue of the Kimberley Process is all about.

I live in a community where very recently, a person that has been respected has befallen hard times, twice. He has made available holy works to communities for purchase. Near a year ago, it was found there may have been over-representations about the validity of the authority for these holy works (having been called rescued from the Holocaust). Now, very recently, it seems the same person is being pursued by the law for these same infractions. This is level one. This religious figure has not been found guilty, but it really does not look good for him.

Go a level deeper, to the expanding pool of associations. People in the past year, who should have known of these offences, have been recommending him still for his services. They have "vouched" for him, in this way. The reputations of those who have recommended him are not without tarnish. Unfortunately, this is real.

Now, turn to KP. Thank you, JP, for not coincidentally, bringing forward what is a nearby coincidental thread, asking: How to Determine which Mine a diamond came from. You kindly, in that thread, provide both illumination, and direction to your earlier work, and in the earlier thread on Country of Origin...:

https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/country-of-origin.122257/

...you do help, or begin to help, to answer the questions about how diamonds are mined and processed. It seems generally, the wider and farther afield one goes from knowing about the processing of a diamond, the less you know about its origins, conventionally.

This logic is in keeping with what I understand is 2 of 3 of Raps upcoming certification scheme...or really...anyone's common sense approach to it. A third aspect of his scheme, of including recycled items, though while logical as a category, seems out of place, to me, because we really don't need his certification for an idea which is simple enough to understand, but I may be missing something.

The two items Rap (or anyone) might hope to certify, as I understand it, are these:

a) processed with the specific idea of benefiting those engaged in the process of processing the diamond, i.e., fair trade
b) processed without egregious harm coming to those engaged in the processing of the diamond.

A is of course cool.
B, one would hope, is a minimum.

But, following this thread, it may be understood that:

1) the conventional definition of "non-conflict," does not get you B. Likewise
2) KP certification does not get you B. But...
3) For the most part, retailers on and off the Pricescope map only promise you non-conflict and KP.

How bad is this problem?

How close to a knowledge of where a diamond is mined from do you need to know?

KP previously allowed you not to care. But, the game has changed. Since KP gives you, on its face, no warranty that I value sufficiently to feel good about it.

Will I buy anyway?

I have, recently, for the cost differential. And...bad on me.

Will other options become available? We'll see.

If the questions and solutions can be redefined, I'll support any good views coming further to light, absolutely.

Regards,
 

Karl_K

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Re: For NGOs, the KP Show must go on……

Yea Garry I read some of the stories.
Frankly if diamonds were found on my property and someone told me I have to move so they can get them out they would either be paying me a whole lot of money or be eating high speed lead.
Frankly their government has sold them out to foreign interests.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Re: For NGOs, the KP Show must go on……

Karl_K|1315022425|3008843 said:
Yea Garry I read some of the stories.
Frankly if diamonds were found on my property and someone told me I have to move so they can get them out they would either be paying me a whole lot of money or be eating high speed lead.
Frankly their government has sold them out to foreign interests.

I am sure the common law is the same in USA as it is in most countries Karl:
You own the rights to live on your land, but the rights to the minerals underneath are entirely in the hands of the government.
 

Karl_K

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Re: For NGOs, the KP Show must go on……

Garry H (Cut Nut)|1315098567|3009373 said:
I am sure the common law is the same in USA as it is in most countries Karl:
You own the rights to live on your land, but the rights to the minerals underneath are entirely in the hands of the government.
nope that is not true, unless it is federal government land and up until the 80s you could stake a claim on some federal land if it wasn't already actively claimed and any minerals on your claim were yours.
Clinton banned all mining in those areas.

Some states allow 4 deeds to the same property...
water
mineral
land
access deed - ie someone can cross your property to reach theirs or to fix power-lines etc.

In those states many people do not own the mineral rights.
Other states do not allow the deeds to be separated.

http://geology.com/articles/mineral-rights.shtml

A good friend of mine makes about $5000 a month from 2 oil wells on his property in Texas with the current high price of oil.
A relative in ND received substantial royalties for coal on his property from the 50s until the 80s when they closed the mine.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Re: For NGOs, the KP Show must go on……

Karl_K|1315101291|3009383 said:
Garry H (Cut Nut)|1315098567|3009373 said:
I am sure the common law is the same in USA as it is in most countries Karl:
You own the rights to live on your land, but the rights to the minerals underneath are entirely in the hands of the government.
nope that is not true, unless it is federal government land and up until the 80s you could stake a claim on some federal land if it wasn't already actively claimed and any minerals on your claim were yours.
Clinton banned all mining in those areas.

Some states allow 4 deeds to the same property...
water
mineral
land
access deed - ie someone can cross your property to reach theirs or to fix power-lines etc.

In those states many people do not own the mineral rights.
Other states do not allow the deeds to be separated.

http://geology.com/articles/mineral-rights.shtml

A good friend of mine makes about $5000 a month from 2 oil wells on his property in Texas with the current high price of oil.
A relative in ND received substantial royalties for coal on his property from the 50s until the 80s when they closed the mine.

Interesting and very different system to ours in Oz and what I think is common among ex British colonies like Zim.

Either way there does not seem to be any claim to ownership or miners rights claims over this Marange field by itinerant miners. So if they want to sneak in at night and effectivly steal diamonds from legitimate Or illigitimate companies that have legitimate Or illigitimate mining rights - what should be done?

For example on the other side of the country RioTinto run a clean, safe mine with well paid staff. Are they allowed to patrol their mines?
I know people who worked for Ashton more than a decade ago and visited their mine site in Angola (or was it Sierra leonne). They patroled their alluvial mine claim in armoured cars and were frequently shot at by rebels.

My point is these situations can be very complex and frankly I am not happy to accept the word of NGO's and journalists as the sole source of news and information because they often have an axe to grind. No doubt they act as whistle blowers, and we need them too. But conversations with a senior Rio person lead me to believe they are able to operate a small mine in Zim without undue issues from an obviously corrupt government. But maybe a company bigger than many countries that makes it clear they will not tolerate corruption faces different interactions.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Thanks admin,
The first post by EphraimRamhari that contains his discussion on NGO's is now in this thread along with the other discussions from that thread. They are of course in date order beginning from the 27th of August on page 1.

Thanks Ella and Admin
 

Regular Guy

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denverappraiser|1312206512|2981571 said:
So what’s a peacenik treehugger to do if you can’t rely on KP?
.

Sorry, did I hear treehugger?

I couldn’t help myself, and thought to include this recent thread from a journal of the same name, on this very related topic.

http://www.treehugger.com/files/201...unreliable-kimberley-process-pandoras-box.php

I’m not sure if this article throws new light, but I couldn’t resist, nonetheless.

And, while at it, I will share that a week ago, with both the opportunity present, and the range of concerns here motivating enough, I did go last week to Rapaport’s most recent Diamond Conference in NY (picture attached - well...I've tried to attach it, so far unsuccessfully), where this topic of “Diamonds and Social Responsibility” returned to the forefront.

I’ll share 3 “moments” from the conference:

1) A frequent guest at these conferences from the US State Department did confirm, in no uncertain terms, what has been repeated here…that:

a) the agenda of the Kimberly Process, and
b) the meaning of “no conflict diamonds” is no more and no less than the procedural rejection of diamonds from the stream of diamonds to fund rebel forces…nevermind that the article included here suggests that even that agenda may not be effectively being carried out, given its intended scope of purpose.

Therefore for those also concerned about the abuse of miners, including their rape and murder, without respect to the scale of that particular problem….the definition by jewelers that your diamond is either not a conflict diamond, or IS protected by the Kimberley Process…in and of itself is not a protection from any of these other abuses.

2) Enter moment next. Both Rapaport and the Responsible Jewelry Council are at work, simultaneously and separately, on new certification schemes, intended to provide a new strategy for dealing with problematic ethics in the mining processes for diamonds. Martin projects a ready date (my question) of early 2012, I believe.

a) Questions of interest about this came from both the representative from the state department, and the audience.

Brad Brooks-Rubin from the state department asked: what about the Congo diamonds, where pro-active work was being engaged by the state department. Rap said good, and keep it up, but regardless of your good work, as a body, we just don’t know sufficiently about these diamonds to say they are without ethically negative tint. And, on this, see again the attached article. While Mr. Brooks-Rubin wasn’t really moved from his spot, clearly, neither was Mr. Rapaport, and Brad didn’t seek to question the assumption that we can’t really speak very affirmatively about the diamonds from the Congo.

This same conversation, sorry, seems to follow Neil above. Neil asks…should we trust anybody, let alone Mr. Rapaport? Well, there is a consequence to trusting no one. Mr. Rapaport, on his face, is endeavoring to represent transparency. I can complain on nits like anyone. In this case, Martin is representing his intent is to separate the wheat from chaff. I say…let’s welcome his effort. Let someone try, or face the consequence that no one will try.

b) Frequently enough, there is discussion about how can a physical diamond be identified as to its provenance…its country of origin. This question, too, came forward from the audience at a distance…as the conference was open to those NOT in attendance, too. The answer from Martin was quick and efficient. This is not a question we should regard as relevant, he said. The question is not as to the geographical source, but as to the ethical process used to bring the diamond forward. If the diamond was secured via ethical methods, let them be mixed together. Likewise, if there is not a substantiated ethical basis for the mining, they can be mixed together, too, for that matter. But, for Martin’s scales for ethical processing, which number perhaps 1 – 10, the first several will be the most of value, with the first most being fair trade, a lower but good rating following that associated with diamonds that are known to not have questionable ethics applied in their sourcing, on down to where it is clearly known that ethical problems were associated with their mining.

c) Then, another question came from the audience. It was concerning fair trade diamonds. If made equivalent to like fair trade coffee, what would be the expected top production yield anticipated, since coffee’s fair trade production might be near 5%, give or take 2 %. And also, they asked, by the way, is it possible they should be less quick to drop seeking governmental, systematic solutions, (like attempting the Kimberley Process to include ethical dimensions instead of abandoning this effort)?

To this, Martin was simply affirmative about the good purposes of this effort, and that there should be no reason to expect it necessary to cap the expectations on this upcoming effort, however, I am documenting this question because, though I don’t personally see a way to get this solution to be included from the questioner…one would be reluctant to doubt the wisdom of the idea.

3) Finally, the gentleman seated at the left in the picture, Louis Sagar, presented about some developments in “sustainable fashion,” and perhaps in part speculated about applying logical consequences to the diamond trade. He suggested adding another “c” to the mix, to where we already have:
a) cut
b) clarity
c) color
d) carat
e) cost

and suggested we add:

f) consciousness.

For my money, the idea is attractive, but we might morph it slightly, and call it:

f’) conscience

It has the same root, and I think gets more accurately at the intended meaning.

I hope this will be of interest to some.

With best wishes,

Ira Z.
 

Regular Guy

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trying again to load the picture...

RapConference0911c.jpg

Ira Z.
 

Xanthoria

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I am a newbie here and I find this discussion very interesting. I can only add my experience in looking for a diamond for an engagement ring, and in so doing I hope to represent my opinion as both someone who knows little about diamonds, and someone who lives in a mid-sized city in N America. Your basic consumer.

We started looking at diamonds and rings in your average chain stores and boutique stores. Then we moved to higher end stores (Tiffany, Shreve et al.) We looked at loose diamonds online and in person. In educating ourselves the feeling we were left with was that there are four ways to get a diamond.

1. From a vendor who makes no promises as to its provenance, or even tells you you’re supporting livelihoods in Africa, which is almost admitting it has a good chance of being a conflict diamond.
2. From a vendor who holds up the Kimberly Process as a 100% reassurance of being conflict free (only a dupe would believe that, or someone who really doesn’t care that much and wants to believe it)
3. From a vendor “promising” it’s a Canadian diamond (trust at your own risk)
4. From a family member, passed down through generations – effectively avoiding putting new money into the industry at the risk of it getting to the wrong hands, though the provenance is unknown.

Happy as I was to be engaged I went without a ring for many months rather than ally myself to an industry with such an appalling record for human rights violations and such a lack of ability to prove whether a stone came to me through fair or foul means. In the end, my great, great aunt’s ring (90 years old) came to me from my mother, and the problem was solved to a degree I could live with. It was that, or go without.

(It’s worth noting that I’m on my late 30s and many of my younger friends with less social awareness are happy to get any ring as long as it has Tiffany stamped on the band or the rock is of sufficient size to crush any ethical twinges they may feel…)

That’s the picture that was painted for me by the jewelers I talked to. It’s depressing. I do suspect that while you may or may not find my point of view unusual, it is a point of view that is likely to become more common unless the industry does something more to combat it.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Thanks Xanthoria for your candid and caring review of the state of play from a consumer perspective.

Interestingly we do seem to have different approaches to new vs old attrocities.
For example many people feel OK about buying antique Netsuki (made from Elephant tusk / ivory) but would never consider buying newly made ones because of a desire to protect Elephants from poachers.
(the trouble is it is almost impossible to seperate ivory soaked in tea from antique ivory)
 

Xanthoria

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Garry, I've certainly pondered for quite some time over whether the diamond I now have was mined ethically or not back in the 1920s. I'm pretty sure the "good old days" were's all that good, but would I be hopelessly naiive in thinking the influence of De Beers et al over diamond marketing hadn't taken effect at that time, and perhaps the demand, and prices wren't so high as to create awful situations of abuse? It does seem that De Beers was controlling the market effectively at that time.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Xanthoria|1317229970|3027954 said:
Garry, I've certainly pondered for quite some time over whether the diamond I now have was mined ethically or not back in the 1920s. I'm pretty sure the "good old days" were's all that good, but would I be hopelessly naiive in thinking the influence of De Beers et al over diamond marketing hadn't taken effect at that time, and perhaps the demand, and prices wren't so high as to create awful situations of abuse? It does seem that De Beers was controlling the market effectively at that time.
De Beers was a miners co-operative, rather like a fruit growers co-op until after the depression hit when the Oppenhiemrs bought out the then worthless shares and saved the industry from total ruin.
 

Regular Guy

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props here to Rob Bates of JCK and his reliably current "Cutting Remarks" column, where this past Wednesday he queries if KP is into its now "Final Chapter":

http://www.jckonline.com/blogs/cutting-remarks/2011/09/28/kimberley-process-final-chapter

Saying also:

Even more significant, the World Diamond Council is starting to distance itself from the growing debacle. The WDC brass is working on a statement—though it’s no clear when it will come out—that will include criticism of current KP leadership, something that it has never, to my knowledge, done before.

and

And now, as if on cue, we have all gotten a handy reminder why the KP remains, and will always be, important. Violence has broken out in Central African Republic diamond fields. And there is always the possibility this could escalate into a full-scale civil war.


Ira Z.
 

coati

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From Rob Bates:

The Kimberley Process, the Industry, and the NGOs

http://www.jckonline.com/blogs/cutting-remarks/2011/10/20/kimberley-process-industry-and-ngos

A remarkable fight broke out last week between veteran journalist Chaim Even-Zohar and Partnership Africa Canada over a PAC staffer’s comment that some found objectionable. Why this particular rhetorical fireball attracted such ire, I’m not sure; I’ve certainly heard worse. But what is noteworthy is the group involved.
 
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