Zim lines up 10 di­a­mond auc­tions

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Martin Kadzere

ZIM­BABWE is look­ing at con­duct­ing 10 di­a­mond auc­tions this year, as it seeks to gen­er­ate more rev­enue from the gems, the coun­try’s min­er­als mar­ket­ing agency has said.

The tar­geted auc­tions are dou­ble what the Min­er­als and Mar­ket­ing Cor­po­ra­tion of Zim­babwe held last year, the State-owned en­tity charged with mar­ket­ing all coun­try’s min­er­als ex­cept gold and sil­ver, said yes­ter­day.

“The MMCZ can con­firm that 10 di­a­mond auc­tions have been pro­posed and the dates are to be fi­nalised with the Zim­babwe Con­sol­i­date Min­ing Com­pany,” said MMCZ.

Last year, the MMCZ con­ducted five auc­tions, which at­tracted buy­ers from the Mid­dle East, Europe and Africa.

It is en­vis­aged that more auc­tions will en­able Zim­babwe to sale its 3,2 mil­lion carats stock­pile.

The coun­try, which has not re­alised ex­pected earn­ings from the di­a­monds since it for­malised di­a­mond min­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in Chi­adzwa, is look­ing at ramp­ing up out­put af­ter it ap­proved the new na­tional di­a­mond pol­icy late last year.

The Zim­babwe Na­tional Di­a­mond Pol­icy is ex­pected to strengthen reg­u­la­tory ac­tiv­i­ties in the di­a­mond min­ing sec­tor and en­sure ac­count­abil­ity, and im­prove pro­cess­ing and sell­ing of the pre­cious min­eral.

The pol­icy will see only ZCDC, Murowa Di­a­monds and two other com­pa­nies to be ap­proved by Gov­ern­ment un­der­tak­ing di­a­mond ex­plo­ration and min­ing in the coun­try.

So far, Murowa Di­a­monds, for­merly ma­jor­i­ty­owned by Rio Tinto plc un­til June 2015, is the only pri­vate com­pany still ex­ploit­ing di­a­monds in south cen­tral Zim­babwe.

Ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports, cit­ing Mines and Min­ing De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Win­ston Chi­tando, De Beers and Vast Re­sources will be al­lowed to ex­plore for di­a­monds in Zim­babwe, which would make them the first listed com­pa­nies to mine there in that sec­tor for two years.

Vast Re­sources, the Lon­don-listed com­pany in May last year said it had con­cluded an agree­ment with Red Mer­cury, a ve­hi­cle owned by Marange-Zimunya Com­mu­nity Share Own­er­ship Trust that will see it ex­ploit­ing di­a­monds in Chi­adzwa area be­lieved to have great po­ten­tial for new dis­cov­er­ies of al­lu­vial and con­glom­er­ate.

The ZCDC is mainly ex­tract­ing con­glom­er­ate di­a­monds in Chi­adzwa in east­ern Zim­babwe while ex­plo­ration for kim­ber­lite di­a­monds in Mwenezi has also started.

The ex­plo­ration works in­clude grav­ity and ground mag­netic geo­physics.

The geo­physics method done on some kim­ber­lite pipes in Mwenezi have suc­cess­fully de­lin­eated the kim­ber­lite pipes and dykes ore body out­lines.

Ac­cord­ing to the ZCDC, pit­ting and trench­ing is in progress for ge­o­log­i­cal map­ping to fur­ther in­crease the con­fi­dence lev­els on the ore body out­line.

Kim­ber­lites are ge­o­log­i­cal for­ma­tion of ig­neous rock in which di­a­monds are some­times found.

Zim­babwe has more than 130 known kim­ber­lite pipes and dykes, which oc­cur in clus­ters.

The Mwenezi clus­ter is be­lieved to host the bulk of the kim­ber­lite pipes and dykes of vary­ing sizes.

Un­der the new di­a­mond pol­icy, the Gov­ern­ment through ZCDC will hold 46 per­cent and the lo­cal com­mu­nity trusts — will be the 5 per­cent indige­nous part­ners of any for­eign in­vestor who in­tends to un­der­take di­a­mond min­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in Zim­babwe.

Gov­ern­ment may waive that lo­cal own­er­ship thresh­old sub­ject to sat­is­fac­tory sub­mis­sions and due dili­gence for the waiver.

All rough di­a­monds pro­duced from all di­a­mond min­ing op­er­a­tions shall be sub­mit­ted to the Di­a­mond Value Man­age­ment Cen­tre to be es­tab­lished by the ZCDC for clean­ing, sort­ing and val­u­a­tion save for Murowa Di­a­monds.

Deputy Min­is­ter of In­dus­try and Com­merce Cde Raj Modi tours Delta Bev­er­ages Chibuku Fair­bridge Plant yes­ter­day. In the pic­ture, the Brew­ery Man­ager Mr Wit­ness Nkuzi­walela stresses a point to the deputy min­is­ter

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