The Zimbabwe Government is to lift its ban on diamond exports and trade over four million carats of diamonds worth $1.7bn.
Last month, the government put a suspension on all diamond exports until gems from the Marange fields are certified by industry regulators.
Following the ban, a monitor appointed by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme to evaluate the government’s mining operations at Marange said Zimbabwe met the minimum KPCS requirements and could start rough diamond exports.
Mines minister Obert Mpofu said Zimbabwe would now lift the diamond export ban and begin the auction of its own gem stockpile of four million carats, according to the Sunday Mail newspaper.
Human rights group Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) said it thinks Zimbabwe should be excluded from the Kimberley Process for its continued violation of human rights and violence in the nation’s diamond fields.
The Kimberly Process brings governments and industry together in an effort to stop the trade of diamonds mined at the expense of human rights.
PAC said Zimbabwe has not curbed the amount of diamond smuggling that has taken place, and it alleges the nation has still not cracked down on human rights violations due to diamond mining.
The government is mining the Marange diamonds in two joint-ventures with Grandwell Holdings and Core Mining.
The June 2010 Kimberly Process Intersessional Meeting in Tel Aviv will review Zimbabwe’s compliance with the Kimberly Process minimum requirements.