In Mozambique, the National Director of Mines last week confirmed that diamonds had been discovered in the Massangena district of the Gaza province. Talking to the Maputo newspaper Notícias, he refused to say how many diamonds had so far been found, but stated that exploration and prospecting activities by both local and international companies were continuing.
“What I will say is that Mozambique is a country rich in almost all types of mineral resources, including diamonds, but, unfortunately, we have not had the good fortune to make a thorough study and start exploration yet,” said National Director Elias Daude. “There are, however, companies doing research in Massangena and this has resulted in the discovery of diamonds.”
He would not reveal how many companies are currently exploring for diamonds in Mozambique. But research by the newspaper established that, in 2011, 21 companies and six individuals had been awarded 40 diamond exploration licences. Although there have been reports that diamond exploration has been undertaken in the provinces of Inhambane, Manica, Maputo, Niassa, Sofala, Tete and Zambezia, Daude told the paper that almost all the companies hunting for diamonds were focused on Gaza. (The Save River valley is considered to be prospective for diamonds and the river forms the northern border of Gaza and Inhambane, as well as the southern border of Manica and Sofala.)
He emphasised the necessity for Mozambique to comply with the Kimberley Process (KP) in order to allow it to export diamonds. “Experts from the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy are spearheading the process, so that diamonds can be exported legally,” he pointed out.
Just a day after Daude’s interview was published, a committee from the KP arrived in Mozambique to review the country’s progress in meeting its requirements. The Maputo government has approved a number of measures to support its application to join the KP. These include the creation of a supervising agency, the Kimberley Process Management Unit, and a decree which regulates diamond, precious metal and gem sales. These measures will come into effect on November 20.
The KP is an initiative involving governments, companies and nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) to prevent rebel movements using diamonds to fund their insurrections against legitimate governments. It was agreed at an international meeting in Kimberley in May 2000 and supported by a United Nations General Assembly resolution the following December. The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) was set up in November 2002 and came into force in 2003.
Currently, 80 states plus the European Union (which, with its member States, counts as a single participant) are members of the KPCS, along with the World Diamond Council (which represents the diamond industry worldwide) and a number of NGOs. The KPCS also includes a number of official observers, who actively monitor the scheme’s effectiveness. These are the African Diamond Producers Association, the Civil Society Coalition, the Diamond Development Initiative and the World Diamond Council. Mozambique is one of seven KPCS candidate member countries. The others are Burkina Faso, Chile, Gabon, Kenya, Mauritania and Zambia.
The KPCS has seven committees and working groups. These are the Committee on Participation and Chairmanship, the Committee on Rules and Procedures, the KPCS Review Committee, the Working Group on Artisanal and Alluvial Production, the Working Group of Diamond Experts, the Working Group on Monitoring and the Working Group on Statistics.