- December 25, 2018
- Posted in LOCAL
STATE-owned diamond mining unit, Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) says it has produced over 80 percent of the projected 3,5 million carats for the year 2018.
The diamond mining industry had projected diamond output of 3,5 million carats this year compared to 1,6 million carats in 2017. ZCDC extracted 2,4 million carats between January and October 2018, far higher than the 1,8 million carats achieved last year.
ZCDC chief executive officer, Dr Morris Mpofu, told Business Chronicle that the figure had by last week increased to 2,7 million carats.
“ZCDC has produced more than 80 percent of the projected 3,5 million carats. So far output stands at 2,7 million carats and we are not stopping there. We are expecting that by the end of the year we would have reached 2,8 million carats or even more,” he said.
The firm’s balance sheet has grown from US$45 million in 2016 to more than US$250 million by September 2018.
ZCDC’s good performance came despite numerous challenges particularly in the last half of 2018 as fuel and foreign currency shortages including price hikes took a toll on the national economy.
Dr Mpofu said to circumvent energy challenges ZCDC was setting up a solar power plant in Marange for its operations. The diamond miner was tendering for pre-feasibility and its initial assessment was that the solar plant be between 15MW and cost US$24 million. Surrounding schools and clinics will benefit from the solar power plant.
Dr Mpofu said ZCDC plans to invest US$20 million in the establishment of a state-of-the-art diamond value management centre to enhance capacity in cleaning, sorting, valuation, sales and security.
“This will be a high-tech facility that is expected to satisfy all international best practices of effective and efficient diamond value management,” he said.
“The diamond value management centre will feature technology such as the fully-integrated sort house, which will see the use of hands-free technology to sort diamonds using advanced machines that sort diamonds according to colour, clarity, size and shape or possible cut. The technology will ensure operational efficiency in the downstream processes.”
ZCDC has also started exploring possible partnerships with other international diamond companies that have well-developed value management technologies. — @queentauruszw
source: The Chronicle