The Kimberley Process

Sierra Leone and the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme

A Kimberley Certificate
A Kimberley Certificate

With the burden of being the birthplace of the concept of "conflict diamonds", Sierra Leone carries the tremendous responsibility to its citizens and the international community to ensure that diamonds recovered from the alluvial river gravel deposits mined by the many artisanal mining licence holders, as well as those liberated from the hard rock kimberlite pipes and dykes by large-scale commercial, mechanised mining operations like Koidu Limited, are not used to fund armed conflict anywhere in the world.

The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) was established in May 2000 to find a solution to the international problem of the trade in conflict diamonds, “which can be directly linked to the fuelling of armed conflict, the activities of rebel movements aimed at undermining or overthrowing legitimate governments, and the illicit traffic in, and proliferation of, armaments, especially small arms and light weapons”. The KPCS is an international certification scheme for rough diamonds, based on national laws and practices and meeting internationally agreed minimum standards.

The KPCS imposes extensive requirements on its members to enable them to certify shipments of rough diamonds as "conflict-free" and prevent conflict diamonds from entering the legitimate trade. Under the terms of the KPCS, participating States must meet ‘minimum requirements’ and must put in place national legislation and institutions; export, import and internal controls; and also commit to transparency and the exchange of statistical data. Participants can only legally trade with other participants who have also met the minimum requirements of the scheme, and international shipments of rough diamonds must be accompanied by a KP certificate guaranteeing that they are conflict-free.

As a participant in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, the Government of Sierra Leone has undertaken to implement the principles and internal controls recommended. The recommendation for control over diamond mines calls for participants “to ensure that prospecting and mining companies maintain effective security standards to ensure that conflict diamonds do not contaminate legitimate production”. All diamond mines around the world are required to have very strict access control. Koidu Limited, with the support of the Government of Sierra Leone, are taking steps to continuously improve our compliance with the Kimberley Process.

These include having an extremely well controlled Chain of Custody, following the movement of our diamonds from each ore source through the mining, processing and export processes.