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The world’s largest diamond mining company – the De Beers Group – has expressed concern over incoming economic sanctions against the Russian diamond industry. | Source: Yuri Kadobnov via Getty
The world’s largest diamond mining company – the De Beers Group – has expressed concern over incoming economic sanctions against the Russian diamond industry. | Source: Yuri Kadobnov via Getty

Unintended consequences: Russian diamond sanctions questioned

The world’s largest diamond mining company – the De Beers Group – has expressed concern over incoming economic sanctions against the Russian diamond industry.

In December, the G7 nations - the US, the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan – announced the introduction of a multi-stage sanction process as punitive action against Russia for the invasion of Ukraine.

The G7 detailed plans for a ‘diamond tracing’ system, which is expected to be introduced in September. The specifics of the system are unknown, with media reports suggesting that Belgium may operate as a central hub for diamond certification.

Al Cook, De Beers CEO
Al Cook, De Beers CEO
"What's really important to us is that any sanctions that are put in place achieve their desired effect without creating terrible side effects."
Al Cook, De Beers Group

CEO Al Cook has urged the G7 to consider the unintended consequences of such a system. Of particular interest is the impact such a system may have on the price of diamonds sourced from Africa.

"Effectively (African producers) would be forced to send all their diamonds in one direction rather than choosing. Ethical African diamonds would become much more expensive," Cook told Reuters.

De Beers has recommended that the G7 coordinate with Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Angola, and India to ensure that this certification system meets the needs of critical contributors to international trade.

"We understand and support the need for G7 sanctions on diamonds," Cook added.

"What's really important to us is that any sanctions that are put in place achieve their desired effect without creating terrible side effects.”

De Beers uses the blockchain program Tracr to track its production. The company recently published its first sales report of the year, outlining increasing sales.

More reading
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Russian sanctions: G7 makes long-awaited confirmation
Unexpected twist in Russian diamond sanctions saga
Russian diamond sanctions: Latest details revealed
Conflict diamonds: Chaos at Kimberley Process meeting
Russia accuses Western powers of compromising Kimberley Process
Belgium PM demands widespread support of Russian diamond sanctions

 











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