Illegal diamond mining seems to be booming
De Beers has denied any involvement in the purchase or sale of diamonds illegally mined in South Africa.
Corporate communication manager Tom Tweedy said doing so would be in violation of the Kimberley Process (KP).
“The illicit trade of diamonds is a major problem and we would like to know who is making these transactions,” he was quoted as saying by IOL.
“This mining is not taking place on De Beers property and any company that abides by the KP would want nothing to do with this kind of illegal activity. Nobody may mine without the required permits and the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) is very supportive of this.”
An unnamed illegal miner had claimed that he preferred to sell his diamonds to De Beers, which “pays” better.
“If I find something, I have a number that I can call and a man with the paperwork will come and to see me, but I still prefer to sell to De Beers because they pay better,” the illegal miner was quoted as saying IOL.
“The police do come and speak to us from time to time but as long as they do not find you in possession of stolen copper they tend to leave us alone. De Beers also do not mind what we do as long as we do not mine on their property.”
Hundreds of miners started setting up their own diamond mining operations outside Kimberley in September 2014 after they were kicked out of a neighboring De Beers mining site.
“There are two kinds of games in economics. One is the game where people use only legal moves. Then there is the true game, the one like real life, where the strategies and moves people make, some of them contain illegal gains.”