Several international mining companies are working with the Indian diamond industry to promote diamonds around the world. Rio Tinto, De Beers, Dominion Diamond Corp., Petra Diamonds, Gem Diamonds, ALROSA, and Lucara Diamond Corp. have formed an alliance to promote the precious stones internationally.

Jean-Marc Lieberherr, head of diamonds for Rio Tinto, is in charge of preparing the modalities of the agreement. He went to India to lead discussions with all of the stakeholders on December 20.

The target markets for the campaign are the United States, Korea, and China. The group has to figure out where to launch the campaign. They want to start in markets where the economy has improved. They would also like to enter the market in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, but they might hold off because of the currency devaluation.

All of the stakeholders will bear the cost of the campaign. They will also request financial assistance from the government.

Gem and jewelry exports from India are declining. In the first seven months of FY16, overall exports have fallen by 12.9 percent and exports of cut and polished diamonds have decreased by 8.6 percent. In terms of volume exported in the first seven months of FY16, exports have fallen by 4.5 percent.

The Indian diamond trade is trying to reduce transaction costs to remain profitable. A trial run has already begun at the special notified zone (SNZ) in Mumbai, with Rio Tinto participating. Other companies, including ALROSA and De Beers, have scheduled dates to showcase their diamonds to Indian manufacturers.

A formal inauguration by the Union commerce minister was expected in December. Once the SNZ becomes operational, it will help mining companies showcase rough diamonds and invite bids. Indian diamond traders will be able to purchase diamonds directly from mining companies.