De Beers GemFair pilot to create a secure transparent route for artisanal

first_imgDe Beers Group today announced it is preparing to pilot a programme called GemFair to create a secure and transparent route to market for ethically-sourced artisanal and small-scale mined (ASM) diamonds. GemFair will use dedicated technology to record ASM production at mine sites that meet demonstrable ethical standards, with the aim of purchasing of rough diamonds from approved locations while helping improve working conditions and livelihoods for those working in the sector.GemFair is partnering with the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) for the pilot, an NGO that has been leading efforts to formalise the diamond ASM sector in several parts of Africa. Miners that wish to participate in the GemFair pilot must be certified by the DDI as meeting their standards, as well as additional standards specific to the GemFair business model.Once ethically certified, De Beers will provide qualified miners with a technology solution that includes an app and dedicated tablet, supported by a diamond ‘toolkit’ that will enable the digital tracking of ASM diamonds throughout the supply chain.The pilot will run in Sierra Leone where a number of artisanal mine sites are already participating in the DDI’s Maendeleo Diamond StandardsTM programme and where significant advancements have been made by the Government of Sierra Leone to formalise the ASM sector.Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, said: “The ASM sector represents a critical income source for many poverty-affected communities. However, due to parts of the sector being largely informal and unregulated, it lacks access to established international markets and the ability to derive fair value for participants. By providing a secure route to market, offering fair prices and helping to raise standards, we hope to play a role in enhancing the prospects for those working in the sector, while also potentially opening up a new source of supply for De Beers over the longer term.”Dorothée Gizenga, Executive Director, Diamond Development Initiative, said: “The DDI is focused on ensuring artisanal and small-scale miners have access to the opportunities, information and tools that help create self-sustaining communities and formally recognise the sector’s contribution to economic development. We believe GemFair has the potential to significantly transform the sector by providing a new and secure route to market through the world’s leading diamond company. We look forward to continuing to work with De Beers, the Government of Sierra Leone and all other stakeholders as we progress.”The pre-pilot phase of GemFair will involve setting up a local presence in Sierra Leone and working with the DDI and registered mine sites to ensure the agreed standards are being met, that participating miners are trained in how to use the technology solution, and that they have an enhanced understanding of diamond classification.Once GemFair and DDI are confident the sites are compliant and the technology is working effectively, the pilot will commence with GemFair starting to purchase diamonds from participating miners. While offers will be made for any diamonds presented for sale, regardless of quality, miners will be under no obligation to sell to GemFair if they elect not to do so. Any approved purchases would be sold via De Beers’ industry-leading Auction Sales channel.The pre-pilot phase will commence this month, with the aim of a first purchase occurring later in 2018. There is no set timeframe for the pilot to be completed.Following extensive research to understand the ASM sector and its specific needs, De Beers is developing a fit for purpose technology solution comprising a tablet and a software application that incorporates GPS locations and QR-coded ‘bag and tag’ equipment. The software has been designed to work both online and offline, to support the ability of miners to use it in different locations. The diamond toolkit includes hardware that can work in tough rural conditions, including being powered by solar chargers. The programme also involves providing participating miners with training on diamond classification to help improve their understanding of the products they sell.If proven successful, the technology used in GemFair will be integrated with the diamond industry blockchain platform De Beers is currently developing, allowing the ASM sector to participate in the blockchain and providing an added layer of assurance for ASM production.last_img read more

State to appeal ruling in landmark surrogate birth cert case

first_imgTHE STATE is to lodge a Supreme Court appeal against a landmark ruling which allowed a biological mother to have her name included on her child’s birth certificate, even though the child was carried and delivered by a surrogate mother.The Department of Social Protection has confirmed that the Registrar General, against whom the original case was taken, will appeal the ruling.The purpose of the appeal is “to clarify a number of points of law of exceptional public importance”, the Department said.In a ruling in April, the High Court’s Justice Henry Abbott ruled that the genetic mother of twins who were born to a surrogate mother could be listed as the mother on each of the children’s birth certificates.The case came after the Registrar General required the children’s birth mother – in this case, the genetic mother’s sister – to be stated as the mother.“The judgement raises important questions about how motherhood may be determined under Irish law and has potentially very serious consequences which could, by linking motherhood exclusively to genetic connection, affect a potentially large number of families,” the Department said.The Department argued that the ruling could also limit the Oireachtas’s ability to legislate, in future, for the complex areas of surrogacy and assisted human reproduction. Legislation in this area was being planned for later this year, it said.“The appeal is therefore considered necessary both to bring certainty to this vital area of law and to ensure that the legislature’s scope to legislate is absolutely clear.”last_img read more