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De Beers Expands GemFair Project

Program aims to create transparent route to market for artisanal miners.
Apr 28, 2019 9:42 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT...
De Beers is broadening a pilot project aimed at creating a secure and transparent route to market for artisanally mined diamonds with ethical sourcing.

The miner introduced GemFair in April 2018 in Sierra Leone, where it worked with 16 mine sites to improve ethical standards and working conditions for miners, while enabling them to sell rough through De Beers’ main distribution channel. Over the past six months, the company has further developed the pilot to encompass 38 more sites.

“Although the sector faces many challenges, we’ve been delighted with how the pilot has gone so far, and it has proved its ability to use digital innovation to support responsible business practices and deliver traceability,” Feriel Zerouki, De Beers’ senior vice president of international relations and ethical initiatives, said last week. “We believe we have identified opportunities to make it even more impactful, and are excited to expand the pilot’s reach to more sites in Sierra Leone.”

GemFair has developed digital technology that enables it to track all diamonds registered in the program. In the future, De Beers plans to integrate that solution into its Tracr blockchain platform.

“The GemFair model has huge long-term potential to transform the ASM [artisanal and small-scale miners] sector by formalizing access to international markets and raising operating and ethical standards across the sector,” Zerouki added.

Image: Artisanal diamond miners in Sierra Leone. (Kaibsaquee)
Tags: ASM, De Beers, Feriel Zerouki, GemFair, Rapaport News, Tracr
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