(CBS) 60 Minutes II: Diamonds

Carol Marin does a segment examining the practices of the diamond industry. From Season 4, Episode 17 of 60 Minutes II, also known as 60 Minutes Wednesday.

00:05Copy video clip URL Host Bob Simon introduces Carol Marin’s segment.

00:13Copy video clip URL 60 Minutes correspondent Carol Marin introduces her investigation “Diamond Rush.”

00:43Copy video clip URL Segment footage begins. At the Ekati Diamond Mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories. The mine is Canada’s first surface and underground diamond mine, located about 120 miles south of the Arctic Circle. Marin speaks with Jim Excell, then President and CEO of the mine.

02:21Copy video clip URL Author Matthew Hart expresses to Marin his bemusement for how few people know about the Canadian diamond business.

02:44Copy video clip URL Marin describes Canada’s Northwest Territories for an audience in the United States.

03:12Copy video clip URL History of how diamond mines were first discovered in Canada. Hart returns to explain more of this history. Marin explores the “biosphere on ice” of a community fed and housed by the Ekati Mine company. She then descends into one of the mine’s pits.

04:42Copy video clip URL Geological history of how diamonds formed in this region, the result of what’s known as a kimberlite pipe, or type of igneous rock known to sometimes contain diamonds.

05:24Copy video clip URL Tracking the extraction of diamonds over the course of a day at the mine.

06:11Copy video clip URL Marin talks with small-scale prospector Dave Smith. She also speaks with Eira Thomas, who struck possibly one of the single richest set of diamond pipes in the world. Hart narrates part of Thomas’s story.

08:38Copy video clip URL Consequences of wars financed by the interests of the diamond trade in Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sierra Leone. Conflicting views between Hart and Thomas about the certitude of knowing whether or not a diamond comes from a “conflict” area. However, few metrics or policies exist that identify a diamond’s country of origin.

10:03Copy video clip URL In a visit with Hart to New York’s 47th Street diamond district, Marin says it would be “just about impossible” to know if one is buying a “non-conflict” Canadian diamond. Hart explains that the diamond industry has been relatively unaffected by stories of diamond wars in Africa or so-called “blood diamond” reports. Despite the large influx of Canadian diamonds expected to hit the market, especially following Thomas’s discovery, the price of diamonds are not expected to drop. Hart soliloquizes on the absurdity of diamond marketing and the persistent gambit to endow diamonds with a desirable allure. 

 

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