The world’s diamond miners have just lost one of their last strongholds.
Diamond mines in northern India have shut down after a year of decline that has caused environmental damage, pollution and a decline in the value of the world’s largest reserve.
The shutdown, announced on Thursday, comes as the global diamond industry faces a new set of environmental risks.
The diamond mines of southern India have been producing nearly 1.6 million tonnes of diamonds a year for almost 40 years, the last being in 2002.
In recent years, production has dropped and, since 2007, the country’s government has been trying to control its emissions, a trend that has forced the country to cut greenhouse gas emissions by a third since 2006.
But the country still needs around 500 million tonnes a year to meet its demand.
Diamond mining is the largest and most profitable of all the sectors in India, with around 10 per cent of the country producing diamonds, according to the National Diamond Council (NDC).
But the sector is now in trouble, with the government facing a sharp decline in diamond output.
Over the past few years, India has been grappling with a severe diamond shortage, with many mines failing to meet demand.
This year, for example, the world market for the product plunged nearly 20 per cent, from $2.7 billion in 2016 to $1.8 billion in 2017, according the Diamond Association of India.
India has been working on a plan to tackle the problem, with President Pranab Mukherjee appointing a team to develop a plan that would include a reduction in mining and a carbon price.
But, according with reports from the NDC, the plan has been delayed for now and could not be implemented by 2019.
“We are witnessing the decline of the diamond industry and are losing the precious stones to the mines,” said the NDCC chief Ravi Chatterjee.
Since 2007, India’s diamond industry has grown by 1.4 per cent annually.
It accounts for a third of the global supply and is worth $20 billion.
India’s government also wants to curb carbon emissions.
There is no question that the decline in production has affected the economy in India.
The diamond mines have been forced to rely on foreign capital to maintain the infrastructure, which is costly.
But this has also been a source of economic hardship.
The NDCC estimates that the industry lost $3.5 billion in revenue in 2017.
While the shutdown has been a huge blow for the industry, it has not been a total disaster.
The government has still managed to meet all the demands of the Indian people, and many diamond mines remain open.
But it is also clear that the world is looking at the situation in India as an opportunity to do something about climate change, a major environmental threat.