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Press Release: Antwerp Diamond Industry Launches Offensive in Latin America

Mar 11, 2015 4:19 PM   By AWDC
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Press Release:  After the Antwerp diamond industry made it a priority in recent years to conquer the Asian market, in 2015 it will target its offensive on Latin America. Brazil, in particular, has many opportunities with regards to diamond production. Accompanied by Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Peter De Crem, from March 12 through 17, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) will travel to Brazil for the first time.

Brazil currently ranks  17th among diamond producing countries but it is loaded with potential. Geologists have mapped the Brazilian landscape in recent years, discovering some 50 potential diamond mines.

“There are two reasons why these mines have not been exploited,” said Ari Epstein, the CEO of the AWDC. “On the one hand, the Brazilians do not know how they have to set up commercial exploitation of mines; on the other hand, they do not know how they have to implement the strict regulations and controls that apply to the diamond industry around the world.”

Investing in Brazil

In the context of Crem's  trade mission, the AWDC  is organizing a seminar about the Kimberley Process regulations, which are the guarantee that diamonds are traded legally. Epstein said, “Antwerp is one of the leaders as concerns application of the strict Kimberley Process regulations and with the more than 550 years of experience as a trade center that we have to offer, Brazil is welcoming us with open arms.”

The annual figures from 2014, showing commercial turnover of $58.8 billion, demonstrated once again that Antwerp remains the most important trading center for diamonds. The fact that new mines opt for Antwerp when it comes to trading their diamonds can only reinforce this position.

Antwerp diamond industry plants trees on Brazilian soil

During the mission, Crem will take time out to pay a visit to the AWDC's  WeForest project. WeForest is an international non-profit association committed to reforestation in areas where the natural forestation has been compromised, for example by activities from the mining industry.

With the support of the AWDC, WeForest will plant 24,290 trees in an area the size of 12 soccer fields.

The AWDC has supported WeForest since 2012. “It is a symbolic decision, given the chemical composition of diamonds (carbon) and the positive effect of the planted trees on the environment (removing CO2 from the air),” said Epstein. “But the choice of Brazil also demonstrates how strongly we believe in this country. In 2015, Brazil will serve as the geographical priority for Antwerp as a diamond industry.”


Facts & Figures

Brazil is currently ranked 17th on the list of diamond producing countries, with annual production of around 50,000 carats per year, good for a value of $3.7 million. Nearly half of this production, some 46 percent, is exported to the U.S.  Europe is accountable for no less than 23 percent of Brazilian exports. A new mine will be commercially exploited for the first time this year: the Lipari Mine. The entire production of this mine, some 225,000 carats annually, will be processed in Antwerp. Brazil’s percentage of exports to Europe will thereby increase in the coming years.

Later this year, the Antwerp diamond sector will travel across the pond for a second time in its function as co-organizer of the GMB Brazil (Global Minerals Business Brazil) conference. The objective of this high level event is to bring the Brazilian and Antwerp diamond and jewelry industry closer together.

AWDC, Antwerp World Diamond Centre, is an industry-established foundation, whose mission is to serve and support the diamond business in Antwerp, the world's most important diamond trade hub. AWDC is the coordinating body and the official representative of the Antwerp diamond sector, and as such is recognized internationally as the host, spokesperson and intermediary for the Belgian diamond community. In this capacity, AWDC liaises on behalf of the Belgian diamond sector with governments and actively promotes support for the diamond sector at home and abroad.  Eighty-four percent of all rough diamonds and 50 percent of all polished diamonds pass through Antwerp. Diamonds represent 5 percent of the total Belgian exports and 15 percent of all Belgian exports outside the E.U., making diamonds the most important export product outside the E.U.

Rapaport News is not responsible for, and does not endorse, the content of any third-party press release. This is not a Rapaport Press Release. It has been provided as additional information for our clients.

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