WDC welcomes agreement for experts from two KP operatives.

The World Diamond Council (WDC) has welcomed an agreement at the Kimberley Process Plenary Meeting allowing the immediate export of rough diamonds from two Kimberley Process (KP) mining operations in the Marange.

President of the World Diamond Council Eli Izhakoff said: "This is a real milestone, and demonstrates categorically that the Kimberley Process provides the framework through which the integrity of the rough diamond chain of distribution can be protected, while at the same time enabling producing countries gain benefit from their natural resources.


"Congratulations and thanks are due to the European Union, for the critical role it played in proposing the agreement and bringing it to fruition. Credit also is due to Zimbabwe, the African nations led by the South Africa, the United States, and a host of individuals and delegates who put in long hours in negotiating the arrangement, which has escaped us for more than two years. It has been a long time in coming, and I fervently hope that it allows us to move both the KP and the industry forward.”

The newly ratified agreement, which took place in the Democratic Republic of Congo, allows with immediate effect the export of rough diamonds from Marange Resources in Mbada. Further exports from other mining operations in the area have also been enabled, following the KP Monitoring Team’s verification of compliance, according to KPCS minimum requirements by the KP Monitoring Team.

In the next two weeks, the KP Monitoring team will visit Zimbabwe to examine a third site in the area – Anjin – to see whether it is also compliant with the process.

The team includes Abbey Chikane, a former chair of the Kimberley Process and Mark Van Bockstael, chairman of the World Diamond Council Technical Committee.

As part of the agreement Zimbabwe has committed to uphold the KPCS minimum requirements and will report to the current KP Plenary and the KP Intersessional Meeting in 2012 on issues related to identification of further investors, the regulation of artisanal mining, the fight against illicit digging and smuggling.

The new agreement will remain under constant review and will remain in force until the KP plenary Meeting in 2012.