An international diamond consultant, Filip van Loere, said Zimbabwe had the potential to get an estimated 40 million carats worth approximately $2 billion per year from the Chiadzwa diamond fields if the area was properly explored.
Van Loere said this on the sidelines of a stakeholders’ site visit of the Zimbabwe Diamond Technology Centre in Mount Hampden Tuesday.
He said an in-depth analysis of how much the country could get from the diamond-rich fields was necessary as the current figures were based on production currently being done by Canadile Miners and Mbada Diamonds.
“The Chiadzwa region has not been explored in depth and the actual estimates are based on the production of the two mines, Mbada Diamonds and Canadile Miners, said Van Loere.
“The quality of the Chiadzwa diamonds is 5% to 10% gem quality, which are very good diamonds and there is a range of between 20% to 50% industrial diamonds.”
Van Loere said the statistics were only based on what they had seen to date during their visit to the country’s diamond mining sites.
Two months ago, a member of the portfolio committee on mines and energy and legislator for Chiredzi West, Moses Mare, called on government to carry out proper exploration of the diamond mining area in Marange.
Diamond finds in Marange cover a vast area and villagers in the area are being moved to allow extensive mining.
The consultant said it was necessary to have non-governmental organisations playing their watchdog function to observe diamond mining activities in the country.
“I think we should not negate the rights of NGOs to play their watchdog function in diamond mining.
“We should allow them to play their role and be careful about how we deal with human rights issues because we do not want to promote the sale of blood diamonds,” he said.