- August 24, 2020
- Posted in LOCAL
The Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) is set to appoint mineral agents for semi-precious stones to empower small-scale miners to extract and trade in the gemstones while also boosting the mining sector’s contribution to the fiscus.
The mining sector contributes about 70 percent of Zimbabwe’s export earnings.
Recently, the government announced that it was liberalising gemstones trading to allow individuals and corporates to participate in the buying and selling of the semi-precious stones.
In an interview, MMCZ general manager Mr. Tongai Muzenda said the individuals and corporates would be appointed as agents of MMCZ.
“We have received applications from individuals and corporates who have shown expression of interest to participate in the trading of colored gemstones as agents of MMCZ.
“We are now at the stage where we are looking at appointing the agents before they can start trading,” he said.
Such semi-precious stones include heliodor, aquamarine, tourmaline, amethyst, goshenite, and iolite.
The gemstones, which are used in the manufacturing of jewellery and decorative purposes are strewn all over the country in areas such as Gutu, Mutoko, Hurungwe, Karoi, Zvishavane, Mutare and Rusape, among others.
“The agents are expected to start purchasing the gemstones working together with the producers before the end of the year,” said Mr. Muzenda.
It is envisaged that MMCZ would be buying the coloured gemstones within the specified Special Grants and selling them to Minerals Marketing Corporation.
Over the years, it has been observed that the country was losing millions of dollars in potential revenue through well-orchestrated international trafficking syndicates smuggling the semi-precious stones to neighbouring countries like Mozambique and Zambia.
Moreso, it is expected that the decision to liberalise the trading of the minerals would add impulsion in curbing corruption while bringing transparency in the gemstones market.
Already, the Zimbabwe Miners Federation, the mother body of small-scale miners in the country has agreed on joint efforts with MMCZ to roll out an outreach program to curtail rampant leakages of the semi-precious minerals.
The country is endowed with vast deposits of gemstones with a value estimated at US$20 billion.
This article first appeared in the August 2020 issue of the Mining Zimbabwe Magazine