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Masvingo Airborne Mineral Exploration project commissioned, diamond sector targets US$1 billion revenue

By Business Reporter – Friday 29 March 2019

HARARE (Mining Index) – MINES and Mining Development minister  Winston Chitando earlier this week commissioned an Airborne Mineral Exploration project in Masvingo in a bid to quantify kimberlite pipes discovered in Chivi, Mwenezi  and Rutenga districts.

The exploration is expected to focus on conglomerate, alluvial and kimberlites.

In February 2018, former Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister Senator Josiah Hungwe first revealed the discovery of rich diamond deposits in the Sese area of Chivi.

Chitando reiterated the mining sector revenue is poised to increase to US$12 billion by 2023 from US$2.5 billion recorded in 2017, with diamonds alone expected to contribute $1 billion annually by 2023.

“It is an important milestone which government is working on towards the attainment of the Vision 2030 and with that $12 billion industry by end of 2023, diamonds will contribute $1 billion at least.”

Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) projected an annual diamond output of 4.1 million carats in 2019 up from actual 2018 production of 2.8 million carats.

“This event is important in the sense that exploration activities of this nature would enable us to improve our diamond production beyond the 10 million carats,” said Chitando.

The 10 million carats projection will essentially put Zimbabwe as the 6th diamond producer in the world overtaking Angola and South Africa producing 9 million and 7.2 million carats respectively.

Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Cde Ezra Chadzamira who also graced the occasion said exploration of diamonds in Mwenezi and Chiredzi districts gives scientific grounds for the province to plan towards industrialisation, modernisation and development.

This is in line with the Diamond Policy which stipulates that 10 percent of diamonds shall be reserved for local value addition.

“Masvingo, therefore, stands ready to beneficiate, value add, market diamonds and related products in manner that seeks to see local communities participating and benefiting,” said Chadzamira. ENDS//

 

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