Zim optimistic of 55% diamond production increase

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The government of Zimbabwe is optimistic that diamond producers will reach the country’s target of 7 million carats an increase of over 55 per cent from 4.5 million carats produced last year, Mines and Mining Development Minister Hon Zhemu Soda has hinted.

Rudairo Mapuranga

Zimbabwe, which is the world’s seventh-largest diamond producer, earned US$424 million in diamond earnings in 2022 from 4.5 million carats. The 4.5 million carats was an increase of around 7 per cent compared to the previous year. In the same year, the country ranked seventh among the world’s largest diamond producers by volume.

Diamond production recorded a significant year-on-year increase in the first quarter of 2023. The output index for diamonds rose by 54.8 per cent from 229.3 in Q1 2022 to 355.0 in Q1 2023. On a quarterly basis, the percentage change was 7.2.

Speaking at the official opening of the Kimberly Process (KP) Plenary Meeting in Victoria Falls on Wednesday, the Minister of Mines and Mining Development Hon Zhemu Soda said the government was optimistic that diamond producers were going to reach the set target of 7 million carats in 2023.

“In Zimbabwe, diamonds have contributed to the development of our nation. Currently, our target is to produce at least 7 million carats by the end of 2023. We are optimistic that diamond producers will reach this target,” Soda said.

Hon Soda said diamond companies (Anjin Investment, RZM Murowa, Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) and Alrosa Zimbabwe which is currently in the exploration stage) are actively involved in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives at the same time giving 10 per cent of their diamonds to local cutting and polishing companies to create employment.

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“Our diamond sector is made up of three mining companies, Anjin Investments, RZM Murowa and Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company and we are pleased with their production and revenue output. Alrosa Zimbabwe is carrying out exploration and we are hopeful for positive results. The companies are also continuously engaged in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects within the communities that host the mineral deposits.

“The Government of Zimbabwe has developed a Zimbabwe Diamond Policy with the intention of maximizing revenue from our diamonds at the same time ensuring that all stakeholders benefit from the mineral resources. The Zimbabwe Diamond Policy has a 10% quota for local cutting and polishing companies. This entails a portion of diamonds for purchase by local diamond traders to undertake value-addition processes. As such this inclusive approach has enabled our citizens to establish cutting and polishing businesses.

“In terms of community development, the Zimbabwe Diamond Policy has a provision for Community Share Ownership Trust (CSOT) as a way of giving our diamond communities shareholding in the diamond sector. Recently the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), which is a state diamond miner declared a dividend to the Marange community being guided by the Diamond Policy alluded to. The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development led an initiative that conducted a Responsible Mining Audit to ascertain companies’ compliance with mining and other legislative requirements. This exercise is a testament to the need for sustainable mining practices countrywide,” Hon Soda said.

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