By Business Reporter
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected to commission a US$100 million conglomerate diamond plant in Chiadzwa within the last quarter of the year.
The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) was formed following the March 2015 Government decision to consolidate all diamond mining companies in Zimbabwe to form a wholly owned Government Company.
Responding to questions during a media briefing in Harare recently, Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando opened up about the new conglomerate diamond mine to be commissioned before end of 2018.
“ZCDC is commissioning a US$100 million project, which has a capacity of 450 tonnes per hour. What this plant does is it gives enhanced capacity to process conglomerate diamonds,” said Minister Chitando.
ZCDC chief executive officer Dr Morris Mpofu added that the diamond producer is currently doing ‘hot commissioning’ of the plant in preparation for the actual commission by President Emmerson Mnangagwa. “The actual commissioning will be done sometime in the last quarter of the year by His Excellency.”
Dr Mpofu said he is pleased with progress made to date. “We are now doing plant optimisation to increase the efficiencies of the plant and the plant is performing very well in terms of availability and utilisation and we are very much excited with what is to come.”
Minister Chitando added that “We have from the Chiadzwa area, the mining which has been taking place, has been largely from alluvial diamonds. ZCDC at the moment is undertaking conglomerate mining and that requires a different plant process for enhanced efficiency from what we have had before.”
Earlier this month, Dr Mpofu said increased exploration and fresh greenfield projects are expected to result in overall diamond production reaching the targeted 3 million carats by year end, with an expected increase in diamond production to about 10 million carats per year by 2022.
Government is in the process of formulating a new diamond policy to attract fresh capital and investments to ensure communities around the diamond fields benefit from the resource by imposing a legal requirement for meaning corporate social responsibility programs. ENDS//