THE Zimbabwe Diamond Technology Centre (ZDTC) yesterday unveiled part of the equipment worth $10 million from India in a major boost for the cutting and polishing of diamonds in the country.
BY VICTORIA MTOMBA
Value addition of minerals has been given prominence under the economic blueprint — the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation — to generate more from the country’s mineral resources.
ZDTC chairperson Lovemore Kurotwi said the company planned to acquire equipment worth $10 million from India for the centre.
“The equipment that we have received today is the first phase while the other equipment is on transit to Zimbabwe. The set that we received has different units that include the planner, laser, router, blocking and bruiting machines. We have 14 specialists from India who are helping in the commission and training the people,” he said.
Kurotwi said the centre would start working on the cutting and polishing of diamonds soon after the launch.
ZDTC is one of the seven diamond cutting and polishing companies that have been licensed by the government.
Kurotwi said the new equipment could cut 100 big diamonds at a given time while it could cut 700 diamonds if they were small sizes.
The equipment will increase production by 85% while the remainder will be done manually.
Super Trends Investments chairperson Charles Mugari said the government should look at the challenges the diamond sector was facing.
Mugari said the government had been licensing players in the diamond sector, but it had not been following up on the
challenges being faced by the sector.
“Once they licence the players they forget them,”he said.
The centre is part of the beneficiation and value addition drive in the country.
The country is working on the consolidation of diamond mining companies.
The country is believed to have 25% of the world’s diamonds.