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De Beers Sells First Rough from GemFair Program

Oct 4, 2021 9:52 AM   By Rapaport News
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GemFair, De Beers’ program to formalize the artisanal and small-scale mining sector, has made its first sale of diamonds, offering goods through the company’s auctions division.

A range of rough diamonds from sites in Sierra Leone were available at a De Beers auction last week, the miner said Monday. The lots contained varying qualities and sizes, with the largest stone weighing 11 carats. All of the gem-quality diamonds on offer were sold, De Beers noted.

The goods were all ethically sourced and traceable, De Beers stressed. In a post on LinkedIn, it gave an example of a 3-carat, sawable diamond of “top quality and good color,” complete with the name of the mine, the digger who found the stone, and when it was unearthed.

“This is a very exciting milestone for GemFair and the artisanal miners who are part of our program,” commented Steve Allan, head of GemFair. “Since starting operations in 2018, we’ve been focused on bringing beautiful, traceable, ethically sourced ASM [artisanal and small-scale mining] diamonds to market.”

GemFair began as a pilot program in Sierra Leone with 14 registered mining locations, and has since expanded to almost 200 sites, De Beers said. It has developed a program to verify the legitimate provenance of its goods, and implemented a digital traceability solution.

The auction event, which ran on Wednesday and Thursday last week, was part of De Beers’ eighth sales cycle of the year. This cycle also includes the October sight, which began Monday. De Beers kept prices unchanged at the sight amid strong rough demand, with Indian manufacturers sourcing final inventory for their factories ahead of the November Diwali shutdown, customers told Rapaport News.

Image: A rough diamond in a pan. (De Beers)
Tags: artisanal mining, De Beers, GemFair, mining, Rapaport News, rough, Rough Diamonds, Sierra Leone, small-scale mining, Steve Allan
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