Varvara Dmitrieva: The jewelry industry of Yakutia is distinguished by its creativity, unique cultural code and conservation of traditions

Varvara Dmitrieva, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Precious Stones and Metals Processing Technologies of the North-Eastern Federal University, told Rough&Polished about the results of the Forum of jewelry Craftsmanship and the prospects...


Valery Budny: There is no strategy and legislation in Russia enabling the full cycle processing of precious raw materials within the country

Valery Budny, Head of the Jewelry Russia program and CEO of the JUNWEX media holding, told Rough&Polished about the results of the meeting and pressing issues in the precious metals and precious stones (PMPS) and the jewelry sectors.

11 april 2024

Paul Zimnisky: Natural diamonds face the risk of eroding their appeal if constantly discounted

New York-based independent diamond and jewellery analyst and consultant Paul Zimnisky told Rough & Polished’s Mathew Nyaungwa in an exclusive interview that the industry should do away with discounts. He said the industry should treat natural diamonds...

01 april 2024

Edahn Golan: Lab-grown diamond prices to continue declining

In an exclusive interview with Rough&Polished's Mathew Nyaungwa, Edahn Golan, proprietor of the eponymous Edahn Golan Diamond Research and Data, predicted that the prices of lab-grown diamonds would continue to decline, especially at the retail and...

25 march 2024

ADPA’s Ellah Muchemwa: G7 restrictions to bring extra costs from diamond mining to retail

The African Diamond Producers Association (ADPA), which has openly registered its disdain for the G7’s rough diamond trade restrictions, is of the opinion that the move will bring extra costs on all stages, from mining to retail. ADPA executive...

18 march 2024

De Beers, SA argue over the backfilling of now-defunct open-pit Oaks Mine

15 september 2023

De Beers and South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources are currently engaged in a fierce dispute regarding the responsible closure of the Oaks Mine in Limpopo.

The operational period of the mine lasted from 1999 to 2009, at which point the licence expired.

De Beers contends that the department's request for backfilling the open-pit mine is unjustifiable, according to Business Day.

The diamond miner said that not only would this operation exceed R200 million ($10,6 million) in costs, but the mine's isolated location poses no danger to nearby communities.

The department has determined that the open pit presents a significant threat to scavengers and facilitates the practice of illegal mining.

De Beers, on the other hand, adamantly denies this claim, stating that there is no basis for it, given that there have been no reported safety or illegal mining incidents since mining operations were halted in that area.

“The Oaks Mine is surrounded by a game farm, with an electric perimeter fence and regular security patrols,” De Beers was quoted as saying to Business Day.

“There is a 2.4-metre fence erected around the pit, and the bottom benches and ramps have been blasted, in mitigation of the risk of illegal mining.”

De Beers said it never consented to such backfilling at the time the mining licence was granted.

The company asserts that because the necessary machinery and equipment require fuel, filling the mine will have a concerning carbon footprint.

Furthermore, it maintains that there is a possibility of insufficient backfill material.

One of the department's contentions is that De Beers' mine closure plans required extensive consultation.

However, De Beers said that consultations were held with the parties concerned in 2008.

It said that the current closure plan will not yield the desired results due to significant delays spanning over a decade in obtaining the necessary closure certificate.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished