b'THE STATE OF THE THE JEWELRY THE COLOREDMAJORS DIAMOND DESIGN STONE MARKETINDUSTRYan idea of the value of stones theyre selling. Gems Enterprise to improve transpar-This hasnt been enacted as of press time,IF THE SITUATION INency mechanisms, like collaborating to and Zewdi says its unclear at this time howTANZANIA PROVES TOlaunch OpenJadeData.org, helping with an the country would support such a require- SEE A BENEFITLETSinternal information management system ment. The government has indicated it maySAY BY 2025 THEY GETfor licensing, improving tax capture from do this by providing an online program orthe sector and drafting gemstone policy. creating local training programs.TO 10 PERCENT OF THEIt also provides commentary on already And while Ethiopia currently only hasGDP COMING FROM THEdeveloped laws.restrictions on the export of opala mini- MINERAL RESOURCESAccording to Maw Htun Aung, Myanmar mum of 40 percent of material exported mustSECTORTHEN YOUREcountry manager at NRGI, the government be cut and polished, while a maximum of 60enacted a new law in January aimed primar-percent can be exported as roughratherGOING TO SEE MOST OFily at more sustainable mining by addressing than a larger gemstone ban, Zewdi says theTHEIR NEIGHBORS TAKEsome of the issues that exist in its gemstone government is limiting the number of exportNOTICE AND START TOindustry, such as dangerous and environ-licenses it gives to foreigners.PUT IN SIMILAR TYPES OFmentally damaging mining methods.The Ministry of Mines has set a mini- REGULATIONS. In mid-2016, the country put a morato-mum price on gems to be exported based onrium on issuing mining licenses for all gem-quality; this is done, she says, to create an STUART ROBERTSON,stones, but given the law that just passed, average price to protect the economy andGEMWORLDAung says they expect the government to prevent exporters from selling below value.INTERNATIONAL lift the ban in late 2019 or early 2020, since The Ethiopian government also hasthe new law is intended to regulate mining opened more than a dozen new lapidary in- so closely. stitutions to train cutters and wants to growWhats important for the country right its jewelry making businesses.now, Aung says, is buildings its infrastructure. It also wants to encourage mining education. Beneficiation and, specifically, value addition havent really been As is the case in many source countries, miners in Ethiopia oftendeveloped in Myanmar, which he attributes to smuggling and a high cant afford the time or money to travel to the cities where gem trad- tax rate, among other factors. (In Myanmar, it is illegal to export ing takes place and so they rely on brokers, Zewdi says. The brokersloose stones, rough or cut.)then sell in the cities, where they charge much higher prices thanWith the new law, the government wants to attract investment in what they paid at the mine. the colored stone sector to create more jobs and bring more cutting, The Ethiopian government wants to educate miners about themanufacturing and even designing to the country. It needs to focus gem material so they better understand the value of their stoneson technology to make that happen, Aung says, including technology and what they should charge, similar to how the Gemological In- to heat-treat more stones in the country or a government-recognized stitute of America developed a gem guide for small-scale miners inlab system to provide assurance on gems. Tanzania and trained them on the ground.Its impossible for the government to outright make a policy that Overall, Zewdi says the country is moving in a good directionevery stone should be cut and polished and processed here, Aung and going about it in the right way. The government understands the need to collaborate with locals and mining associations so regulations dont stifle the market, which is especially important for a country trying find its place in the international market.MYANMAR REBUILDS A HISTORIC MARKETMyanmars gem sector has a long, complicated history. The countrys rubies are among the most sought-after in the world, but its colored stones are inextricably linked to its political systemhaving long brought wealth for its leaders with ties to the gem sector, some of whom forced their way into powerand, as a result, gems have been the focus of government control and foreign sanctions. But, just as is happening in East Africa, Myanmars leaders have realized the country could make more money from its resources so they too are enacting change designed to build beneficiation, tighten distribution and clean up mines. The Natural Resource Governance Institute, or NRGI, is an interna-tional nonprofit that works to improve the governance of natural resources in a variety of countries to promote sustainable and inclusive development.NRGI has been engaging with governmental body Myanmar 64 STATE OF THE MAJORS 2019'