Sierra Leone: Diamond industry association,Rapaport Group, makes proposals to ensure local communities benefit from artisanal mining

Author: Abdul Rashid Thomas, The Sierra Leone Telegraph, Published on: 30 April 2019

"New diamond mining strategy could benefit mining communities in Sierra Leone", 22 April 2019.

A group of 29 international diamantaires and jewellers, headed by Martin Rapaport – Chairman of the Rapaport Group...held discussions with the Bio led government about a new strategy that could transform the lives of diamond mining communities in the country, and make it easier for local miners to sell their finds to the government. Sierra Leone is natural resource rich but yet one of the poorest countries in the world...Corruption, poor governance and lack of strong political leadership, have seriously damaged Sierra Leone’s potential to become one of the richest countries in Africa...

Rapaport Proposal to the Government of Sierra Leone Regarding the Artisanal Diamond Mining Sector – March 31, 2019...(5) A finder of a precious mineral...shall be entitled to forty percent of the value of the precious mineral and shall be presumed to be in lawful possession of the precious mineral...This proposal calls for the establishment of a diamond auction center in Koidu, Kono district, whereby unlicensed artisanal diamond diggers (“finders”) will deliver the diamonds they find to a “government receiver,” who will then supervise a weekly transparent and competitive public auction where the diamonds may be sold to the highest bidder...

Benefits of local, public, weekly, transparent, competitive, fair-market-value auctions

  1. The transparent and competitive weekly auctions will provide fair-market-value prices and revenue to the government and the diggers...
  2. The auctions will provide the highest level of price discovery and transparency, as all stakeholders (including the government and diggers) will be able to examine the quality of the diamonds being sold and observe the highest bid prices they attract.
  3. The public auctions will be broadcast over the internet, enabling local, national and foreign buyers to bid online in real time.
  4. The weekly auctions will provide a consistent cash flow to the artisanal sector...This cash flow will support a strong microeconomic grassroots multiplier effect that will encourage economic development and expansion in the district.
  5. The weekly auction frequency will provide a fair market for small artisanal diggers who cannot delay the sale of their diamonds due to their urgent need for money to provide basic necessities for themselves and their families...

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Related companies: Rapaport Group