By MELISA CHATIKOBO

ZIMBABWE is targeting to produce six million carats of diamond this year, according to Mining Development deputy minister Polite Kambamura.


Speaking before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining development in Kariba yesterday, Kambamura said the diamond sector was on a growth trajectory.


“As of last year, we had about four million carats delivered to Minerals Marketing Cooperation of Zimbabwe and our target for the diamond sector is US$1 billion, which translates to about 10 million carats.


“This year we are looking forward to getting six million and next year 10 million carats,” the deputy minister said.


“We have a diamond policy that allows four companies to mine diamonds in the country, being Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), Anjin Investments, Murowa Diamonds and Alrosa Zimbabwe, but currently only ZCDC, Murowa Diamonds and Anjin Zimbabwe  are actively mining with Alrosa doing exploration.


“We have Murowa Diamonds starting to mine in Southern parts of the country, Beitbridge, by the end of this year, and ZCDC have also expanded their production.


“Currently, as a government, we do not have enough equipment for exploration, but we are working toward that.”


Kambamua was answering Matabeleland North representative Sibusisiwe Bhuda Masara who said there is not much information about diamond production.


“There are promising figures from the gold proceeds and definitely the US$12 billion economy is achievable, if we could get the figures from the diamonds, because if they have been exported, we need to know, as not much is said about it,” she said.


The government initiated a self-assessment exercise of the entire local diamond value chain in preparation for a mandatory Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) evaluation in May, and is aiming to set a high benchmark of compliance to the requirements of the global diamond watchdog.


The last review was conducted in 2012. The KPCS is an international, multi-stakeholder initiative created to increase transparency and oversight in the diamond industry in order to eliminate trade in conflict diamonds. – Daily News