Daily operations of the Assay Office showcased through a site visit
The Minister of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, effected, today, a site visit at the Assay Office, at Ken Lee Tower in Port Louis. The aim of the visit was to showcase the daily activities of the Office, as well as the services it provides to the public.
The Director of the Assay Office, Mr Y. K. P. Lucknauth, and other personalities were also present during the site visit.
In a statement following the site visit, Minister Bholah highlighted that the jewellery sector groups some 555 registered jewellers and around 635 retail shops employing 2 457 workers. He indicated that the exportation of jewellery currently generates some Rs 4 billion of revenue and, with the coming into operation of new dealers, this sector, which operates under the Jewellery Act 2007, is bound to grow and generate more revenue for the country.
Speaking of the Assay Office, the Minister underscored that its objectives are to ensure that the jewellery industry operates within the existing legal framework, and to safeguard the interest of consumers when buying and selling jewellery. The Assay Office, he pointed out, also aims at enhancing consumers’ trust and confidence in the jewellery industry while offering them consistent jewellery certification and grading services by maintaining the highest level of integrity and ethics.
Minister Bholah also dwelt on the scientific and technical aspect of the work carried out by some 25 employees of the Assay Office, who have received advanced training in their respective fields so as to preserve the sector’s integrity.
For his part, Mr Lucknauth underlined that the Assay Office, operating under the aegis of the Ministry of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives, offers a range of services to jewellers, members of the public and institutions. Personnel of the Office, he emphasised, also carry out inspections in jewellery retail shops around the island so as to ensure that jewellery being sold to the public is of good quality.
It is recalled that the Assay Office was established in 1993 under the Jewellery Act 1990. This Act was repealed and replaced by the Jewellery Act 2007. The Office has a regulatory function in ensuring compliance with the Jewellery Act 2007, which provides for: the regulation and control of the manufacture, sale and importation of jewellery made of gold, silver and platinum, among others; and the verification and grading of precious and semi-precious stones.
The Assay Office operates two laboratories, namely: the Assay Laboratory, for the assaying of gold, silver and platinum jewellery and their alloys, which is the first public laboratory to be accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 with MAURITAS; and the Gemmology Laboratory, for verification and grading of precious and semi-precious stones.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of Mauritius.