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NGOs Merge to Advance Artisanal Mining Sector

Diamond Development Initiative will become division of Washington, DC-based Resolve.
Jul 26, 2020 6:08 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), which has worked to improve conditions for small-scale diamond miners for more than a decade, has merged with Resolve, an organization engaged in tackling social, health and environmental challenges.

DDI will become a division within Resolve, called DDI@Resolve, with DDI executive director Ian Rowe serving as its director. DDI chairman and founder Ian Smillie and vice chair Stephane Fischler will join Resolve’s board. 

“The perils in the artisanal minerals sector are well-known,” Smillie said. “Artisanal mining can damage the environment, and it is a vector for social disruption and disease. Most artisanal miners earn less than $2 a day. We launched DDI because we can do better. Together, Resolve and DDI will strengthen our impact on diamonds and extend the program to other minerals.”

The DDI has already been working to overhaul the artisanal diamond sector. Last year, it created the Maendeleo Diamond Standards, a set of rules for ethical artisanal diamond production and supply-chain security. Resolve, which is based in Washington, DC, has also been active in the field, creating a voluntary open-source standard for artisanal mining, called the Craft Code.

The merger will bolster both organizations’ capacities to support the responsible sourcing of artisanally mined diamonds, gold, cobalt, “the three Ts” (tin, tantalum, and tungsten), and other minerals, they said in a joint press release last week.

The organizations will integrate their programs for responsible mining practices and standards, post-mining land use, support for livelihoods, reclamation and restoration, the groups noted. They also aim to increase the availability of responsibly sourced minerals from artisanal origins, and to ensure conflict and human-rights violations are absent from all sourcing and trading activities.

The group will also work to improve the economic development of the countries in which it operates, and to create a way for artisanal miners to exit poverty.

“This new partnership is timed to bring the industry and stakeholders to a shared vision of diamonds that supports peace, livelihoods and care for the environment,” Fischler added.

Image: Artisanal miners in Sierra Leone (top); Ian Rowe (right). (Rapaport News/Diamond Development Fund)
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Tags: ddi, DDI@Resolve, Diamond Development Inititative, ian smillie, Maendeleo Diamond Standards, Rapaport News, Resolve, Stephane Fischler
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