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05.03.2007 General News

Ghana's diamond industry faces final test

By myjoyonline

A team of experts from the World Diamond Council will this month make a final assessment of Ghana's ability to monitor and ascertain diamonds from conflict zones.

If the country's monitoring structures meet required levels, it will be re-admitted into the global diamond body.

South African experts have been helping Ghana better manage the industry and to monitor the source of its diamonds to ensure diamonds from conflict mines especially in the sub-region were not included as national output.

It is a key demand to qualifying for the Kimberley Certification Process.

Ghana was criticized last year for allegedly failing to stop conflict diamonds entering its export chains.

The Minister for Lands, Forestry and Mines, Prof Dominic Fobih says government has been able to strengthen its monitoring structures and can now match production levels with what is being marketed by the Precious Minerals Marketing Cooperation.

He however said there is need for continued education especially of Customs and Immigration officers at the nation's borders especially at the Western front with Cote d'Ivoire to ensure no illegal diamonds get in the country.

He said no arrests have yet been made of illegal trafficking and was optimistic Ghana would pass the Kimberley test.

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