The COVID effect: Impact on mining and mining communities
May 21, 2020

With disruptions in the supply chain caused by lockdowns in both the gemstone processing centres and the jewellery retail markets, mining houses supplying raw materials to the industry have selected to curtail or reduce production, while at the same taking measures to protect the health of their workforces. Certain markets have begun to reopen, but with unsold inventory still languishing in the pipeline, the decision when to renew or increase production is a difficult one.

It is a situation that is even more complicated in the informal mining sector, which accounts for only a small portion of total production, but makes up the bulk of people earning their livelihood from gemstone and precious metal production. This weighs heavily on the communities that are dependent on the revenues they produce, and the situation is particularly acute in those countries where artisanal and small-scale mining dominates. Not only are the health systems often ill equipped to deal with the pandemic, but the loss of income and the inability to get goods to market can be particularly challenging.

Entitled “The COVID Effect: Impact on Mining and Mining Communities,” the fifth Jewellery Industry Voices webinar featured three leading industry experts – Feriel Zerouki, Senior Vice President of International & Ethical Initiatives at the De Beers Group; Peter Karakchiev, Head of the International Relations Department at ALROSA; and Estelle Levin-Nally, Founder of Levin Sources.

The webinar was co-moderated by Edward Johnson and Steven Benson, and Gaetano Cavalieri, CIBJO President, welcomed the participants.

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