Zimbabwe's minister of mines Walter Chidhakwa has called on the diamond industry to take diamonds through the Kimberly Process.
The Namibian quoted the Zimbabwean minister as saying that African countries should take collective action through a verification process that differentiates real diamonds from synthetic diamonds.
He said Africa, which contributes about 65 percent of total global output, see the lab-grown diamonds as threat.
“We need to deal with synthetic diamonds the way we have dealt with illicit diamonds,” he said at a diamond conference held in Windhoek, Namibia recently.
Meanwhile, a managing director of Namibia’s Hard Stone Processing Burhan Seber said at the same event that diamond manufacturers may be forced to move to synthetics if the Namibian government does not provide them enough support.
He said the local diamond cutting and polishing industry was teetering on the brink of collapse.
Seber said the current rough supply model by government had failed, proposing that local factories receive preferential pricing with a 10 percent discount on rough diamonds produced in the country.
Currently local factories compete with De Beers’ international buyers known as sightholders.
“Rough diamond supply alone is not enough for sustainability. Preferential pricing does not mean cost subsidising. Local sight holders must be the sweethearts of the government and De Beers,” he said.
Meanwhile, Namibia’s mines minister Obeth Kandjoze said he would use the pleas from cutting factories in advising Cabinet on the way forward to sustain the industry.
Source: Rough & Polished