Fourteen officials from the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy are taking a rough diamond training course provided by the Antwerp diamond industry over a two-week period. The objective of the course is to ensure that Brazil is able to apply the strict requirements of the Kimberley Process properly, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) said in a press release.
Brazil is a small diamond-producing country with annual production of some 57,000 carats valued at US$2.7 million. 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 has recently become operational. This mine is currently the only fully-fledged kimberlite mine in Brazil, AWDC said.
“The 50 mines discovered are literally and figuratively uncharted terrain,” said Margaux Donckier, AWDC spokesperson. “Antwerp is making its knowledge and know-how available to develop Brazil’s potential in the field of mine exploitation and in the implementation of strict regulations applying to the diamond industry. By sharing our knowledge, we hope to bring Brazilian diamonds to Antwerp once the mines are in production.”
The training course, which kicked off in early April, is a follow-up to a seminar that the Antwerp diamond industry held in Brazil last year in a mission led by Pieter De Crem, Belgium’s secretary of state for foreign trade .
The objective of the course is to enable the Brazilian government to apply the Kimberley Process requirements properly and efficiently, AWDC said. It consists of theoretical explanation, and “best practices” and practical components. The officials are also being trained to recognise and analyse rough diamonds to better determine their origin and value.
“Antwerp is one of the leaders with regards 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 centre in the world is willing to assist them in developing their knowledge and expertise in diamond mining and trade,” De Crem said.
Nearly half of Brazil’s diamond output is exported to the UAE, while Europe only receives 9 percent of its diamond exports. AWDC plans to change this once the Lipari Mine gets up to speed since its entire production – some 225,000 carats per year – will be traded in Antwerp. This will increase the percentage of Brazil’s diamond exports to Europe in the coming years, AWDC said.
In 2015, US$48.3 billion worth of diamonds were traded in Antwerp, representing a volume of 192.6 million carats.