Sierra Leone’s 2001 Diamond Exports Up 150 Percent

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(Rapaport…April 24, 2002) Sierra Leone’s diamond exports during 2001 increased by over 150 percent to $26 million, according to Mineral Resource Minister Mohammed Deen. He attributed the increase to a certification scheme that shut rebels out of the trade and an end to the civil war in the country. Deen said that 25 percent of the funds from diamond mining will be spent directly on the people, including the development of local areas. Deen also said he expects annual exports to eventually exceed $30 million, or 30,000 carats.

Another sign that Sierra Leone’s post-war diamond industry has been picking up came on April 22 when Sierra Leone legally exported a 110-carat diamond worth several million dollars. The BBC reported that Deen described the diamond as being the size of a “substantial pebble.”

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