Mozambique’s government is next year to set up three warehouses for the certification of diamonds, precious metals and gems produced in the country, with the aim of ensuring that they can circulate legally in the international market, it announced yesterday.
According to the executive secretary of the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy’s management unit for the Kimberley Certification Process, the three warehouses are part of reforms that the Mozambican executive must institute to join the process.
The system in question was created to ensure that only items that have been legally extracted are sold, preventing the sale of so-called “blood diamonds” and other precious gems that are mined in war zones and whose proceeds thus help fuel conflicts.
“We will have warehouses in Maputo, Manica and Nampula to … control all production of diamonds, precious stones and gems, to be verified, sealed, certified and exported,” the official in question, Castro Elias, told journalists.
He said that the warehouses will function as “a single window,” because all the services necessary for certification will be there, notably customs and mineral resources inspection services, he said. Mobile brigades are also to be set up for producers who work far from the warehouses, also to verify the origin of and certify diamonds, precious metals and gems.
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This system will also prevent Mozambique from being used as a corridor for illicitly mined diamonds in other countries, he added.
According to Elias, a team of international experts from the Kimberley Certification Process would visit Mozambique next year to verify whether the conditions are in place for Mozambique’s acceptance into the mechanism. The mission had been scheduled for next month, but was delayed due to constraints caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Acceptance into the Kimberley process is urgent, Elias said, noting that many investors have frozen their activities in the country due to the impossibility of marketing diamonds mined there because Mozambique is not yet part of that mechanism.
“We currently have 47 prospecting and research licenses and 78 applications that are running their legal procedures to obtain prospecting and research licenses,” he said. “We have already had some companies in the field doing the research, but they had to stop because they couldn’t export their samples for analysis.”
The Kimberley process only requires the certification of diamonds, but Mozambique wants to go further by also applying for international certification of gems in that mechanism, in order to bolster the market for local production.
Source: Lusa via Club of Mozambique