ZIMBABWE Diamond Technology Centre (ZDTC) is offering the country facilities to auction diamonds in Harare instead of taking them to Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and Dubai auction floors.
Addressing journalists in Harare yesterday, ZDTC founder Lovemore Kurotwi said the government would benefit immensely from the use of their facilities in Mt Hampden, adding that the arrangement would also create about 100 000 jobs locally.
“We have written to the government offering them to use the facilities,” Kurotwi said.
“We hope to commission the diamond auction floors in June.
“We are still waiting for a response. The benefit would be enormous. Money will circulate in the country. We are complaining of liquidity challenges and unemployment and if we play our cards right as a country, all these problems will be over.
“We are losing a lot of money carrying our diamonds for sale to some diamond auction floors outside the country. We are sustaining foreign industries.”
At the moment, Zimbabwe has no diamond auction floors, seven years after it started diamond mining in the Marange area.
To date, Zimbabwe has generated a total of $109 million from diamond sales AWDC and Dubai.
Mines and Mining Development minister Walter Chidhakwa recently disclosed that they were planning to take some of the country’s gemstones to China’s Shanghai Diamond Exchange Centre.
Kurotwi’s offer comes at a time President Robert Mugabe’s government has reportedly opened an embassy in the United Arab Emirates to promote diamond trade with the Asian country.
The ZDTC boss said the use of his facilities, which when complete, will be the world’s largest diamond auction floors, would bring buyers to the country and help plug leakages in diamond trade. In a letter to Chidhakwa, Kurotwi said facilities at his diamond centre would offer a one-stop-shop to include banking, insurance and courier services.
The centre would also host offices for regulatory services by the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and other stakeholders to ensure transparency and accountability in the diamond trade.
“The offer is also in support of the minister’s effort in promoting value addition of the country’s minerals,” Kurotwi said.
Chidhakwa was not reachable for comment yesterday.