De Beers plans to tackle conflict mining through blockchain tech adoption

Anglo American’s diamond-producing subsidiary De Beers is looking to launch the first industry-wide blockchain platform this year which will enable greater tracking of gems being traded across the globe.

The world’s largest diamond producer by value has led industry efforts to implement a blockchain system which will trace each diamond on its journey throughout the entire value chain, from mine to consumer, making sure their authenticity and that they aren’t from conflict zones.

The mining sector, particularly the diamond market, has continued to be afflicted by issues such as illegal and conflict-driven mining as well as the prevalence of counterfeit and synthetic stones.

However, a blockchain database of transactions maintained by a network of computers on the internet would go some way to tackling these issues, according to De Beers’ chief executive Bruce Cleaver.

“Diamonds hold enduring value and represent some of life’s most meaningful moments, so it’s essential to provide assurance that a diamond is conflict-free and natural,” he said.

“We are very excited about this initiative and the benefits it could deliver across the diamond value chain, from producers through to retailers and consumers.”