gave the first speech at the Kimberley Process Plenary, [i] opening the forum with a “reality check.”

In his address, Shamiso Mtisi, stated, “This forum has often discussed the challenges related to artisanal and small-scale mining. Yet, in our view it has not given sufficient attention to those associated with large-scale mining.

Problems with industrial mines are less common, but if things go wrong, the impact tends to be much more devastating and leaves communities powerless in a David v. Goliath battle with colossal corporate interests.

There is a solution available to detect and mitigate problems more readily, but it has not yet made its way in the diamond sector. I refer to the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance, which is the only third-party, arms-length certification of industrial scale mining for all mined materials that is co-created and governed equitably by the private sector, local communities, civil society, and workers. The KP CSC calls for IRMA certification for all industrial diamond mines.