Brazilian officials learning from Antwerp diamond industry
Fourteen officials from the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy are following a rough diamond training course provided by the Antwerp diamond industry over a period of two weeks. The objective of the course is to ensure that Brazil is able to apply the strict requirements of the Kimberley Process properly. Brazil has a great many potential diamond mines. Through initiatives such as providing this training course, the Antwerp diamond industry hopes in the long term to bring the diamond production from these mines to Antwerp.
Brazil is a small diamond producing country with annual production of some 57,000 carats valued at 2.7 million USD. Currently, its production is mainly alluvial and semi-artisanal. In recent years, however, geologists have discovered 50 potential (kimberlite) diamond mines. The Lipari Mine is one of them and recently became operational. This mine is currently the only fully-fledged kimberlite mine in Brazil.
“The fifty mines discovered are literally and figuratively uncharted terrain,” says Margaux Donckier, spokeswoman for Antwerp World Diamond Centre. “Antwerp is making its knowledge and know-how available for developing Brazil’s potential in the field of mine exploitation as well as with regard to implementing the strict regulations that apply to the diamond industry. By sharing our knowledge, we hope to bring Brazilian diamonds to Antwerp once the mines are in production.”
Investing in Brazil
In early April, AWDC is delivering a two-week training course for staff from the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy. This training course is a concrete follow-up to a seminar that the Antwerp diamond industry held last year in Brazil during a mission by the Secretary of State for Foreign Trade Pieter De Crem.
The objective of this training course is to enable the Brazilian government to apply the Kimberley Process requirements properly and efficiently. The training course consists of theoretical explanation, sharing ‘best practices’ and a practical component, whereby the officials will be trained to recognize and analyze rough diamonds, and in this way to better determine their origin and value.
Secretary of State De Crem traveled to Brazil to follow a part of the course along with them and will present the trainees with an official certificate at the end of the course. De Crem explains the role that Antwerp can play: “Antwerp is one of the leaders with regard to applying the strict Kimberley Process regulations. Internationally, Antwerp stands for the assurance of quality, control and transparency. The Brazilian government is delighted that the best diamond trade center in the world is willing to assist them in developing their knowledge and expertise with regard to diamond mining and trade.”
Production from Lipari Mine will come to Antwerp
Despite a difficult year for the global diamond trade, in 2015 Antwerp once again demonstrated that it remains the global leader of the diamond trade. Last year, $48.3 billion worth of diamonds were traded in Antwerp, representing a volume of 192.6 million carats.
Brazil currently ranks 18th among diamond producing countries, with annual production of some 57,000 carats valued at $2.7 million. Nearly half is exported to United Arab Emirates, while Europe only receives 9% of Brazilian diamond exports. AWDC intends to change this once the Lipari Mine gets ups to speed, as its entire production – some 225,000 carats per year – will be traded in Antwerp. This will increase the percentage of Brazilian diamond exports to Europe in the coming years.