By Business Reporter – Tuesday 29 September 2020
HARARE (Mining Index) – A GLOBAL diamond firm is eying to set up a diamond processing plant in Zimbabwe soon after the conclusion of the tripartite deal involving Zimbabwe Consolidate Diamond Company (ZCDC), Vast Resources Enterprises (VRE) and Chiadzwa Mining Resources (CMR).
Information gathered by Mining Index reveal that the international firm is ready to pour its investments in Zimbabwe, but progress has been marred by delays in concluding the second joint venture between ZCDC and VRE.
In an interview with an international diamond expert, value addition is not just cutting and polishing but starts by identifying proper marketing agents.
The Group boasts of expertise in diamond sorting, cutting, polishing and marketing with experience spanning over 140 years on the global market.
“We have identified this Group, a very old family business in the diamond industry with over 140 years of experience in the diamond industry. They are good at sorting and branding, and hold auctions in all important centres including Tel Aviv, New York, Dubai and Hong Kong,”
“They agreed to work with the Marange community. They can cut and sort and have over 2000 customers on the international market,” he said.
“Our diamonds are 85 percent industrial and 15 percent gem and semi-gem. The industrial diamonds normally fetch very little and if you value add them, they fetch more,” he said.
“The Group has a company within their group, that can pulverise those diamonds because they the hardest due to their age. They are 2 billion years old. They were mineralised during the so called Gondwanaland so they are the strongest. If you pulverise them for the tool making industry, the precision making industry, then you can raise their value from US$5 per carat to about US$100 per carat,” said the expert.
He added that there is greater need to beneficiate local diamonds to realise more foreign currency revenue from exported diamond products.
The country’s marketing body, Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) in June last year held a diamond sales with seven international buyers whom they invited to undertake valuations of 1.9 million carats of industrial, near gems and gems.
“Remember we still have sanctions. MMCZ cannot sell outside because if they sell outside some people will come and say we lost our land (from Zimbabwe’s land reform program). They were advised by the attorney general to say let the auctions be done here and let buyers pay before the goods go out but that attracts very few companies. But through the community (Chiadzwa Community), we can manoeuvre through those issues and get good money for the country,” he said.
He said there is need to learn from the Botswana diamond journey where at one point, the neighbouring country had at least 25 cutting and polishing companies, saying it is essential for Zimbabwe to set up more beneficiation units to value add it diamonds. ENDS//www.miningindex.co.zw
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