Trial shipment of Rio Tinto’s rough diamond from Canada to Surat SNZ paves way for diamond polishing shipments from mid-Feb

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A trial shipment of rough diamond of miner Rio Tinto from Canada arrived at the Surat International Diatrade Centre (SIDC) last week before it starts operating likely from next month, an official of the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) said.

The SIDC at Surat’s Gujarat Hira Bourse was declared a special notified zone in January last year, and was expected to start functioning six months ago.

The operation was delayed due to coronavirus pandemic and resultant delay in required permission from the customs department, said GJEPC Regional Chairman Dinesh Navadiya.

With successful trial shipment, miners are expected to bring their rough diamond consignments at SIDC — the country’s second SNZ (Special Notified Zone) for rough diamond trading after Bharat Diamond Bourse operated SNZ in Mumbai — likely after the second half of February, he said.

The shipment will be kept at Surat for 4-6 days before being re-exported. After its re-export, the project will be formally opened for the interested parties. The purpose behind the trial shipment is to check the processes related to customs clearance and security system, bringing the consignment to the designated place, and following related rules.

The Customs department, custodian Diamond and Gem Development Corporation Limited (DGDC) and operator SIDC together conducted the mock trial. The SIDC was likely to begin around six months back, but was delayed due to delay in permission from customs department and lockdown. From mid-February, miners will be able to officially bring their rough diamond to the Surat SNZ.

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