The government of the Central African Republic (CAR) said it intends to look for partners to reform its artisanal mining sector, normalise its diamond trade and to combat illicit activities and smuggling. The government wants these partners to also engage in capacity building projects for the benefit of CAR’s youth.
CAR Minister of Mines and Geology Leopold Mboli Fatran said, “From the CAR government’s side, tax incentives will be considered. By the end of 2018, it is the intention of the CAR Government to announce a new policy to ensure the return of responsible diamond mining to the country.”
To allow this to happen in a transparent and responsible way, the CAR government said that at the same time, it asks the Kimberley Process family to approve the compliance of 9 additional zones in the western part of the country. These zones fulfil KP procedures laid out in its administrative decision and the operational framework.
Specifically, the government said:
· It has established and implemented the appropriate monitoring mechanisms.
· The overall security situation enables free movement of goods and persons.
· The zones are under appropriate and sufficient CAR government control, in particular by the territorial administration, mining administration, USAF, gendarmes and police.
· There is no evidence of systematic, rebel-based armed group activity impacting internal controls in the diamond production or trade.
The decision taken at the KP Intersessional in June to reduce export timings to seven days was very welcome. At the same time, it has not yet resulted in an increase in production as the months of July and August are the peak of the rainy season and artisanal activity is at its lowest point.
Peter Meeus, Special Advisor (Diamonds) to CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadéra and the Mines and Geology Minister Fatran said, “The CAR would welcome a formal administrative decision on the seven-day approval process by the CAR MT, as agreed upon at the KP Intersessional in June, as we believe a formalization of this decision is essential for the way forward and to get good international companies engaging in artisanal and alluvial mining in the country.”