Diamond Matters

by Kadir van Lohuizen

Sierra Leone, 2004, Diamond found at the Sewa River.

Sierra Leone, 2004, Diamond found at the Sewa River.

Diamond is carbon, crystallized under pressure over millions of years. The crystals rise to the surface during volcanic eruptions. Some fall back in the volcanic pipe to form blue-ground, called Kimberlite. Some is spread across a large area through erosion and flood and can be found in river beds or just under the surface.

Sierra Leone, Bo, 2004, In the Kono, Kenema, Bo and Pujehun Districts there are 1,700 artisanal mining licenses in operation.

Sierra Leone, Bo, 2004, In the Kono, Kenema, Bo and Pujehun Districts there are 1,700 artisanal mining licenses in operation.

India, Surat, 2004, The main polishing center for diamonds in the world. About 70-80% of the world diamond production passes through here.

India, Surat, 2004, The main polishing center for diamonds in the world. About 70-80% of the world diamond production passes through here.

India, Surat, 2007, People walking on street.

India, Surat, 2007, People walking on street.

Kadir Van Lohuizen decided to return to the same African countries and follow the diamond trail from mine to ultimate consumer, in cooperation with the Netherlands Institute for Southern Africa. This photo reportage examines the financing, working conditions, dealers and those who really profit from the industry.

 

‘Fair trade’ in diamonds would be the ideal next step, with profits being shared by all in the industry and diamond workers’ rights being respected.

Diamond industry
Belgium, Antwerp, 2007, Men in exchange shop.

Belgium, Antwerp, 2007, Men in exchange shop.


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