Ethical and Sustainable Diamond Mining
Globally, 95 percent of the world’s diamonds by value and approximately 85 percent by volume go through the extractive and marketing processes by mining conglomerates. Typically, these ethical diamond establishments run their operations with unprecedented transparency and take charge of their environmental and communal impact. All these subjects form part of thoroughly audited sustainability reports.
All purchases of natural diamonds buttress the ethical diamond trade that values transparency and responsibility in commercial practice. The importance of such approaches is that they help communities to advance long-term and lasting sustainable development and legacy. All associates indirectly and directly support livelihoods through the generation of financial resources that culminate in environmental and economic gains. In societies, the infusion of these benefits happens through education, royalties and taxes, local employment, investment in infrastructure, and social programs. Sourcing goods and services is also another way.
Do you know that the sparkle on your fingers may well be the most admirable thing, but their acquisition is questionable? It is possible that slave labor formed part of the process of acquiring the diamonds. The possibility of having underpaid workers and life-threatening or unsafe working conditions also exists. If the sourcing of the diamonds was not sustainable, then the whole process is harming than good.
Worldwide, the truth about diamond rings and other jewelry is that there is no custom behind the commercialized or propagated concept. In reality, disseminating the idea of diamonds was a publicizing or advertising scheme by an international corporation that concentrated all its operations in the exploration, retail, mining, manufacturing, and mining of diamonds. Similar to the renowned argument society makes about Valentine’s Day, the reality about most diamonds is that they draw a strong connection to successful marketing. Most diamonds are commercial commodities that have no sentimental culture or tradition behind them.
The Dark Continent, Africa, is the epicenter of the production of diamonds globally. The production of more than half of all diamonds worldwide happens in Africa. So, diamonds come from Africa. Funny and who cares anyway? Is there a big deal about it? Well, most of the issues that surround mined diamonds are complex. The picking of the first diamond in modern-day South Africa in the eighteenth century marked the genesis of a diamond rush. Many miners flocked the country after the discovery of another piece of stone. Since then, Africa has been at the forefront of the production and mining of diamonds. However, monopoly is proving to be a threat to the industry in Africa. Granting so much control to a particular company means that it has control over the market or most of the critical aspects of supply-and-demand pricing.
Issues with Mined Diamonds
Indecorous and inappropriate diamond mining applications can result in soil erosion and strip the soil of vital natural nutrients. In the long-term soil erosion leads to deforestation. Currently, the world is grappling with climate change and deforestation is one of the ways to solve the problem. However, with water and dust pollution also proving to be side effects of the unsustainable practices in diamond mining, the threat still lingers. Such land degradation—an acute decline in the fecund capacity of the land and consequently its worth as an economic resource—can result in proneness to torrential floods.
For example, in Angola that lies in South-West Africa, the effects of diamond mining on the environment were so severe that most of the local communities had to relocate.
Land degradation is a significant reason for the unsustainability that surrounds diamond mining. There are approaches to mining diamond stones that are questionable. One technique, known as alluvial diamond mining, takes place inside beaches and river banks that are secondary diamond deposits. Alluvial mining calls for the construction of walls that can divert the flow of rivers and the draining of the water body. Bulldozers later come in and dig through all the dirt mining for all diamond stones in the bed of the drained river.
Another method is diamond pipe mining that requires the insertion of shanks into the ground intending to locate the pipes that bear ores. During the process, large amounts of soil are then extracted. As a result, this leads to rapid land degradation in the area.
Meaning of Sustainable Diamonds
Sustainable diamonds do not need the untenable, undesirable mining processes that form the core of mined diamonds. In reality, sustainable diamonds aim to get rid of the undesirable communal and environmental consequences of conventional diamond mining.
To discover sustainable diamonds, miners have few choices. Primarily, it is prudent to decide on selecting lab-created or synthetic diamonds. Synthetic diamonds form an option that is friendly to the environment because they do not require mining. In the United States of America, the East Coast is a lucrative hub for sustainable diamonds. Synthetics correspondingly hold all the same chemical, optical, and physical characteristics that mined diamonds possess. Additionally, synthetic diamonds hold all the life or sparkle those real diamonds possess but at a lower cost.
Recycled diamonds are one more reasonably priced and sustainable options. Jewelers can reorganize or from time to time even cut up a used stone to fit a more contemporary ring band. These diamonds do not need novel mining techniques. Sure, this approach does not certify that the original diamond was sustainably obtained. However, it keeps people from contributing to a business at the mercy of unsustainable approaches and unscrupulous treatment of workers.
Other kinds of sustainable diamonds need sustainable sourcing. If the diamonds you have were sourced in South Africa, Russia, Canada, Botswana, or Russia, then the sparkler was sustainably sourced.
Reasons for Considering Ethical and Sustainable Diamonds
Reasonably, conflict diamonds and blood diamonds are important terms. These phrases denote diamonds quarried in war districts that are then traded to finance dissident movements against recognized administrations. Both terms seek to raise mindfulness of the atrocious consequences of diamond production. It is worrying that blood diamonds still exist at the moment.
From a charitable and philanthropic viewpoint alone, moral and sustainable diamonds ought to appeal to anyone. Despite everything, the conditions diamond miners suffer is a far cry from approaches that reputable and sustainable organizations would approve. The monopoly in the industry is vital to understanding the poor treatment, conditions, and meagre wages that diamond miners receive. Monopoly in the industry means that the dominant player pays little or no taxes to the local administration, and this mostly happens in Africa. It is unfair shortchanging.
However, the dominant player is not the only guilty party. The mining of diamond stones globally is dangerous and unsustainable. Generally, this proves how the industry does not value the environment. Worse, miners receive poor treatment and most of the time they even go unpaid. In reality, in some nations, the diamond mining trade depends heavily on slave labor. Slave labor exists in parts of India, Zimbabwe, and Liberia. In these states, communities enslave children to all the diamond mining work. To make it worse, diamond miners habitually do not have access to insurance, satisfactory living conditions, and healthcare. Physical abuse is widespread in diamond mining sites and sex trafficking is widespread. In the long-term, it leads to the high rates of transmission of HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) amongst miners.
Ethical Substitutes to Mined Diamonds
There are more than a few ethical substitutes to mined diamonds. In this context, sustainable diamonds may take in synthetic gems made in a laboratory, recycled diamonds that have over the years gone through different phases of reuse, resetting, and recutting. Also, the diamonds might have been properly and sustainably sourced.
When sourcing diamonds from a country like Canada, it is important to adhere to the set humanitarian and environmental standards. Ethical diamonds are stones that have fair humanitarian mining practices (wages and conditions) when looking for raw diamonds. Consumers should be aware of these things while buying diamonds. Always ask and research the stones you buy.