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Kimberley Process Dismisses Claims That it Approved Marange Diamond Sales

Jan 5, 2011 5:09 AM   By Avi Krawitz
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RAPAPORT... Representatives from the Kimberley Process refuted claims that it had approved sales of diamonds mined at Zimbabwe’s Marange fields.

“No decision has been made yet,” stressed a spokesperson for the Kimberley Process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The DRC took over the role as chair from Israel on January 1, 2011, with Yamba Mathieu Lapfa Lambang assuming the chairman’s position.

The website ZimOnline, which is often critical of Zimabwe's government, reported that mines and mining development deputy minister Gift Chimanikire said that the Kimberley Process recently wrote to the government, confirming that it could market its precious stones.

But the DRC spokesperson told Rapaport News  that the Kimberley Process chairman is waiting for a response on an amendment to Zimbabwe's draft administrative decision that was sent out to all parties this past week. The amendment raised the veto conditions on the Kimberley Process’s working group for monitoring so that any three members, rather than two,  can submit a report should Zimbabwe breach the joint working plan meant to keep Marange operations in compliance. Zimbabwe is seeking to sell Marange rough without any conditions at all.

The Kimberley Process chairman set a deadline of January 10 to receive a response on the amedment. Should the provisions be accepted by all participants, the revised proposal will then be forwarded to Zimbabwe for its approval, the spokesperson said.

Tags: Avi Krawitz, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Marange Fields, Zimbabwe
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