Is it true that diamonds do good? It was only a few decades back when the industry couldn't say this. Conflict diamonds caused harm to people, and runaway mining practices caused harm to the planet. There was backlash, and the industry and its major players pursued a more conscious path toward change. More responsible mining practices increasingly became the norm. Looking at diamond mining facts from 20 years ago vs. today is like night and day.
Improving the Process
The first attempt to better the industry was the Kimberley Process. This did improve things and it made the industry more transparent than it had been before. Diamonds were more easily traced on the whole, but the process has been abused. Still in effect today, it's definitely a net positive, but it's not perfect. It's best viewed as a step along the process and not a complete answer in and of itself.
There are more effective alternatives being used today. These take advantage of technology to help ensure diamonds are conflict-free. A blockchain initiative uses digital tracking to verify a diamond's entire life up till now. Ownership, contracts, and even financing history can all be traced much more easily using this approach.
Diamond Mining Facts
There's been an incredible improvement in water usage in the last several years. Total water usage has been reduced, and it's important to look at the types of water being used. Fresh water usage has been greatly reduced. Seawater still takes up a component of mining activities, but recycled water usage now takes up well over half of the water usage. This drastically reduces water use in the mining of diamonds.
Mining activities have been quicker to partner with stable governments. The industry took too long to realize that evidencing investment in employment overseas was important. The industry's always relied on legal employment, but proving it and making it transparent became much more of a priority in the wake of certain conflicts and human rights abuses.
Can Diamonds Do Good?
Natural diamond mining does do good. It is more likely to create jobs and boost an economy. It also contributes to infrastructure growth.
It's important to note that technology is racing ahead today in a way it never has before. These are all steps, and more steps can be made. Greater transparency and tracking is something that's well within grasp. Extraction mining can continue to reach sustainability goals that were only dreamt of a decade ago.