Overview – transformation

The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) is working to transform artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) by bringing this largely unregulated informal sector into the formal economy in ways that benefit miners, their communities, regional and national economies, and the diamond and jewelry industry.

(Read more about the issues facing the ASM sector)

DDI focuses its formalization efforts on the artisanal diamond sector. It has also demonstrated, through initiatives impacting the mining of minerals such as gold and the three “T’s” (tungsten, tin and tantalite), that the development issues are similar and much of DDI’s transformational approach can be applied effectively.

DDI promotes transformation in the following ways:

Kimberley Process

DDI works from within the Kimberley Process and in parallel to the KP Certification Scheme to tackle the development issues affecting artisanal and small-scale mining, where the problem of conflict diamonds originated.

Registration:

DDI works with the local government to register miners – including diggers, traders and auxiliary workers – giving them a legal status that brings them into the formal economy and provides them with protection, legitimacy and access to government support.

Organization of miners

Organizing miners into associations and cooperatives provides them with training to improve mining methods and labour conditions, bargaining power to market their products and the opportunity to develop alternative livelihoods.

Certification

The Development Diamond Standards certification process attests that diamonds produced at a conforming site are responsibly and ethically sourced. Requirements include respect for human rights, no child labour, environmental sustainability and the protection of the health and safety of miners.

Improvements

DDI implements projects that support improvements in the ASM sector, including improved mining methods and mechanization, banking and savings programs.

Development support

To complement the formalization process, DDI offers support to artisanal mining communities to increase their quality of life, including provision of clean water and mobile schooling.