Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

Zimbabwean diamonds not as valuable as widely believed

by Staff reporter
25 Oct 2023 at 06:32hrs | Views
The Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) has disclosed that local diamonds, primarily found in Manicaland Province, do not possess the widely assumed high value, with approximately 75% of them falling into the industrial-grade category rather than the more valuable gem-quality category.

Ezekiel Mafara, the MMCZ Sales Executive, stressed during a recent discussion with journalists that Zimbabwe cannot generate the same revenue from diamonds as Botswana and Namibia due to this critical distinction.

Botswana stands as the world's leading producer of diamonds in terms of value, largely attributed to their gem-quality diamonds, which are comparable to those from Namibia and Angola.

Mafara's remarks were made just before a tour of the Chiadzwa diamond fields, organized by the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) and the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ).

Mafara explained, "Our diamonds have less value. Yes, we are ranked fourth and seventh, but the majority of them are industrial diamonds."

He continued, "Ninety percent of the value of diamonds comes from gem-quality diamonds. In our case, almost 75% are industrial diamonds with limited value."

He acknowledged that Zimbabwe would not be able to attain the same level of revenue as Botswana, Namibia, or Angola, as the majority of their diamonds are of gem quality, in stark contrast to Zimbabwe's predominantly industrial diamonds.

Sugar Chagonda, the ZCDC Spokesperson, emphasized the need to rectify perceptions about the value of Zimbabwe's minerals. Local villagers had misconceptions, believing that trucks departing from the Chiadzwa Mine were transporting substantial quantities of diamonds out of the country.

The diamond rush that began in 2006 led to the government identifying and cordoning off areas with diamond deposits, initiating large-scale diamond mining. Initially, conflicts arose between the companies authorized to mine and the communities in the Marange area, resulting in sanctions on diamonds from that region by the United States. This, according to Mafara, has had a significant impact on sales, given that the United States accounts for 51% of the global diamond market.

Mafara added, "Rough diamonds from Marange have been sanctioned by the Americans, so anyone who buys them and is discovered faces severe consequences. They make it nearly impossible to process payments for rough diamonds, which affects the quality of clients we attract. Who would want to engage with us when there's a risk of being red-flagged by the Americans and De Beers?"

Source - NewZimbabwe