b'THE STATE OF RETAIL JEWELRYTHE COLOREDTHE DESIGN STONE DIAMOND MARKET INDUSTRY Mustang Resources ruby mining site in Mozambique as it appeared when Fura Gems acquired its licenses in the country in mid-2018A RECENT EXAMINATIONto maintain its relationship with the local community. He also noted One of the biggest events to bring the conversation about localthe legal costs involved in taking the case to trial likely would have impact to the fore in recent years, at least in the colored stone world,been greater than the settlement.was the lawsuit filed against Gemfields in 2018.In addition to the settlement amount, Gemfields committed more A group of Mozambicans sued the London-based colored gem- than $500,000 to long-term sustainable benefits, like skills training stone miner via law firm Leigh Day, alleging they were shot, beaten,to help foster growth and employment in the local community, and subjected to humiliating treat- provided human rights training to ment and sexual abuse, unlawfullyMozambican authorities.detained, and/or forced to carryA MozambicanIt also agreed to create an ruby mined by out menial labor by the securityGemfields independent Operational forces hired to guard the Mon- Grievance Mechanism (OGM) to tepuez mining site, which is 75ensure anyone can come forward percent owned by Gemfieldswith complaints about the mine. through its subsidiary, Mon- An independent panel will con-tepuez Ruby Mining. sider the evidence and determine In a 2018 interview, Leigh Daycompensation, where applicable.attorney Matthew Renshaw toldThe grievance mechanism is up National Jeweler that, ultimately,and running, Gilbertson says. As the claimants alleged Gemfieldsof press time, a few cases had been breached its duty to them by al- filed but, he says, its still too lowing these alleged human rightsYou have to take the early to see how effective it is.abuses to happen at the mine. Gemfields is also slated to Less than a year later, Gem- community along with you,plant a farm to help with food se-fields agreed to a no-admis- right from day one.curity in the forthcoming season. sion-of-liability settlement, in Dev Shetty, Fura GemsThe additional aspects of which the miner paid about $7.6the settlementthe OGM and million to settle the case. the community projectsar-It maintained throughout that it wasntent usual in such a case and liable for what happened at the site while also recognizing that pastwere a credit to Gemfields response, Leigh Day said at the time. instances of violence had occurred at Montepuez.But the firm ran into some issues when it tried to distribute the In an interview for this article, Gemfields CEO Sean Gilbertsonmoney to the claimants, and there was some delay in getting those tells National Jeweler he believed the settlement was the best optionadditional projects going.Continued on page 5856 STATE OF THE MAJORS 2021'