Minister of Mining, Emmanuel Bondé, has just published a call for expressions of interest in “pre-approving research agencies to provide work in relation to the opening of a diamond-cutting factory.” Interested parties have until March 31, 2014 to submit their bids to the Contract Services division of the Ministry of Mining.
At the end of the newly launched process, Cameroon will have a diamond-cutting factory for the first time in history and will be able to start the local processing of the precious stone. This will be in keeping with the Mining Code which requires that 15% of total production be processed locally.
Cameroon joined the Kimberly Process on August 14, 2012. Membership in this global platform governing the sale and trade of diamonds was granted close to two years after the Korean mining company, C&K Mining, discovered the Mobilong diamond deposit in the East region of Cameroon. The deposit is reported to be the largest in the world.
Licensed to conduct diamond mining in Mobilong since December 16, 2010, C&K Mining and small-scale miners currently produce around 5,000 carats in diamonds per annum in Cameroon according to figures provided by the National Permanent Secretariat of the Kimberly Process.