Mozambique Planning to Certify Diamonds

Diamonds

Maputo — As from next year, Mozambique may have its own executive secretariat for the certification of diamonds.

According to a report on Radio Mozambique, the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Max Tonela, said the new body will be charged with certifying the origin of any diamonds found in Mozambique.

Mozambique is already a signatory to the Kimberley Agreement. The Kimberley Certification Scheme was set up in 2003 to prevent "conflict diamonds" (also known as "blood diamonds") from entering the mainstream diamond market. The purpose of the scheme was to ensure that the diamond trade was not financing violence by rebel movements seeking to overthrow legitimate governments.

Mozambique's membership of the Kimberley scheme should allow it to sell diamonds on the international market. "We are now making the Executive Secretariat operational", said Tonela. "This is important for certifying the origin of the diamonds, which in turn will open the doors for them to be accepted internationally".

Diamonds are known to exist in Massangena district, in the southern province of Gaza, and Tonela believes the conditions are now ripe to start exploiting these deposits.

"In the Massangena area, the state has allocated several mining concessions which are still valid", he said. "We were informed that at least one of these projects had begun the initial phase of mining, but there were matters to be solved concerning Mozambique's membership of the Kimberley scheme".

Now that Mozambique had joined, Tonela expected mining to move ahead.

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