The Sunday Mail
Zimbabwe’s assumption of the vice chairperson post of the World Kimberly Process will help increase the global visibility of local diamonds and, in turn, spur the sector’s growth, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Last month, the country was elected vice chair of the KP for 2022, with Harare set to assume the chairmanship in 2023.
In an interview, Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando said the election was a boost to the diamond sector’s fortunes.
He said diamond production will contribute over US$1 billion to revenues from the mining sector in two years’ time.
“As Zimbabwe we are already participating in a number of working committees (at the KP) and being elected to vice chair is an important development for us,” said Minister Chitando.
“Diamonds are set to contribute US$1 billion to the envisaged US$12 billion mining industry target by 2023.
“This is based on a production target of 10 million carats.
“If you look at the volumes produced the world over, you will find that Zimbabwe will be a fairly major producer of diamonds in a few years.
“So, with Zimbabwe slowly becoming a significant producer of diamonds, it is a befitting honour for Zimbabwe to serve in the running of the affairs of the Kimberley Process.”
He said participation in the KP process “will raise our profile and our diamond sector”.
The Kimberley Process is an international body responsible for certifying diamonds sold around the world and provides for the removal of conflict diamonds from the global supply chain.
The Minister said increased diamond production will augur well for value addition.
“We have seen a significant increase in most sectors notably coal, diamonds and platinum,” he added.
“We have seen a number of significant initiatives on value addition and the thrust as we increase production is to also increase the value addition of diamonds.
“In the Zimbabwean diamond space we have four companies who are active including the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) which has done extremely well and is really headed for recorded production this year.
“We have Alrosa who are undertaking a number of projects in the country and we have Murowa Diamonds who are in the process of significant expansion.
“We also have Anjin who just resumed operations and are scheduled to increase production as we move forward.
“So the diamond space is looking very good and the thrust is to continue increasing the output and increase the value addition component.”
It is projected that the mining industry will generate revenue upwards of US$20 billion by 2030.