The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) is a United Nations certification. It helps to ensure that diamond purchases are not financing violence or rebel groups. Created in response to the blood diamond crisis in Africa, it has had mixed success.
This year Venezuela’s Osio is seeking to re-certify with the United Nations. They lost their membership several years ago for non-compliance. The government could not control illegal mining activities. Often the diamonds and precious minerals mined in Venezuela and then transferred over the border to Guyana. The border between the two countries is impossible to control. They were then issued falsified Kimberly Certificates and sold.
The illegal mining activities support a large number of its citizens. With the poor state of the economy, Venezuela has made the decision to crack down on the illegal mining industry. Nelson Merentes, the Central Bank’s governor feels that this step is a important one for Venezuela.
Controlling mining activities and movement across the border will prove to be a difficult task for the Venezuelan government. Yet, the value of the minerals is significant. The gold reserves amount to an excess of $200 billion dollars. Other mineral reserves such as iron, bauxite and coltan also exist. These amount to upwards of $100 billion dollars.
These monies will help the Venezuelan economy, if they can halt the illegal trade. If they do not their economy will continue to suffer.