The Sunday Mail
Ishemunyoro Chingwere in BULAWAYO
Diamonds from Chiadzwa will fetch around US$200 million by the end of 2017 following adoption of new cleaning processes to increase their value.
One million-plus carats have been stock-piled, with cumulative output projected to top two million carats by year-end.
At the 22nd Mine Entra last week, Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company CEO Dr Moris Mpofu said, “Our average sales per carat have hovered around US$54,74, and if we go with that price, our total earnings for the year will be US$130 387 242.
“But if we enhance our cleaning process, rebrand the product and be able to aggressively market them, then we can sell at US$100 per carat which will give us US$245 890 700.”
Dr Mpofu said Zimbabwe’s diamonds generally fetched low prices because of hasty cleaning, giving the stones about 93,2 percent industrial and 6,8 percent gem quality.
He said diamonds would now be de-boiled and cleaned for at least one week to increase their quality.
Industrial diamonds fetch the lowest prices followed by near-gems, while those with gem quality have the highest value.
Diamond output has significantly improved this year, with 1,1 million carats being hauled in the first six months of 2017 compared to 644 000 carats in the same period in 2016.
Last year, 961 537 carats were extracted, earning Zimbabwe US$42,1 million.
Government expects mineral exports to generate US$3 billion in 2017 — US$1 billion more than last year.