Canadian Mining Journal


DIAMONDS: New standards for responsibly sourced, artisanal stones

OTTAWA – The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI),an organization focused on improving the lives of artisanal diamond miners, has launched the Maedeleo Diamond Standards. MDS is aimed at ensuring respect for human rights, the environment and community well-being.

DDI executive director Dorothée Gizenga says, “Artisanal diamond mining, carried out informally with rudimentary tools, is a risky business in many ways. Historically the people who do the hardest work live in poverty and have been subject to exploitation and violence.

“These standards are an important step in protecting the miners, regulating the sector and producing diamonds that the jewelry industry can be proud to pass along to consumers,” she added.

Workers at 14 remote sites in the Koidu district of Sierra Leone have had MDS training, and 13 of the mines have been certified MDS compliant based on a third party audit. That means the diamonds from these sites have been mined responsibly and ethically. The demand for ethically sourced materials is growing rapidly.

The DDI says that the implementation of human rights, health and safety, and environmental responsibility at the compliant sites is already improving working conditions for the miners.

An overview of the Maedeleo Diamond Standard is available at or visit

“Maedeleo” is the Swahili word for development and progress.

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