The chart immediately to the right on worldwide diamond production in 1999 was supplied by De Beers with its written testimony before the House Committee on International Relations Subcommittee on Africa for its recent hearings in Washington on the issue of "combat diamonds."
According to the chart, the production of so-called "conflict diamonds" only amounts to 3.7% of the total world production in 1999. It shows that an overwhelming percentage of the world’s diamonds come from peaceful and orderly mining industries, such as those in Botswana and Namibia. De Beers supplied this chart to counter "inaccurate and unsubstantiated estimates" that 20% of all diamonds go through combat areas.
Tables like these usually track diamond percentage in terms of caratage. This table tracks production in terms of value. Perhaps De Beers did this because, tracking the amount of small diamonds that come out of countries like the Congo, Sierra Leone and Angola by caratage would mean that "combat diamonds" would have a much higher percentage. But Congo, Sierra Leone and Angola do not give the true picture.
|Conflict Diamond Chart Against World Production of Gem Diamonds, 1999 (US $million)