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Vol 41 No 11

Published 26th May 2000


Glittering prizes from the war

A new mining consortium in partnership with Congo and Zimbabwe is to be launched on the London Stock Exchange

A new consortium to mine diamonds in war-torn Congo-Kinshasa, Oryx Diamonds, is to be launched on the London Stock Exchange on 13 June, in partnership with the governments of Congo-K and Zimbabwe. The launch will be a major test of market sentiment towards the British government's attempts to get buyers to shun 'blood diamonds' - stones mined in countries in conflict such as Angola, Congo and Sierra Leone. On 22 May, Britain's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Peter Hain, called for a consumer boycott of diamonds coming from war zones. London will be pushing the Group of Eight industrialised countries meeting in Tokyo in July to back an international scheme to outlaw 'blood' or 'conflict' diamonds. However, many diamond buyers in London and Antwerp say the campaign against conflict diamonds won't stop them buying rough diamonds from any source they choose. The proposed directors of Oryx Diamonds say they have no involvement with conflict diamonds and dispute that their diamond concessions in Congo are in a war zone.

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