RAPAPORT… A Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KP) review team is in the Republic of Congo this week (September 3-7) to assess the country’s possible readmission to the KP.
Republic of Congo, also known as Congo-Brazzaville, was the first country to be expelled from the KP when, in 2004, the country was found exporting far more diamonds than it produced. Stones had been smuggled in from neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC.) The discrepancies coincided with sharp increases in exports from the DRC at the time.
A KP official told Rapaport News the visit follows extensive discussions between the Congolese government and the KP about readmission, after they agreed in 2004 on the criteria the country needs to fulfill to achieve that goal.
Congo was required to change its mining legislation, develop a new system of internal controls and commission a geological survey to assess its production capacity. As a final step towards readmission, the country invited the review team visit this week to overview its progress.
The visit is being headed by Canada, with participation from the European Commission, Central African Republic, Angola, the World Diamond Council and NGO CENADEP.