Zim diamond polishing centre to open soon

The Zimbabwe Diamond Technology Centre (ZDTC) will soon offer cutting and polishing training to the southern African region, as the company seeks to promote local value addition of diamonds across African producers.

BY FIDELITY MHLANGA

ZDTC chairman Lovemore Kurotwi yesterday told journalists during a tour of the company’s premises that his organisation had already signed a memorandum of understanding with Botswana diamond miners to start training.

“I have signed a memorandum of understanding with some southern African countries. Botswana will send their people for training here. On Friday last week, I was viewing the Botswana diamond centre. In future, we will have diamonds from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Botswana and Zimbabwe here for polishing and cutting,” he said.

Kurotwi said the company recently acquired the first batch of new laser technology from Indian firm Sahajanand for $1 million with the capacity to cut and polish diamond within a minute.

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More consignments for the state-of-the-art beneficiation machinery are expected depending on the consistent supply of rough diamond, to the company which is currently hampered by the tendering system.

Kurotwi said government should address bottlenecks associated with the purchase of diamonds by local players as the current system process was hampering consistent supply of diamonds for cutting and polishing.

“This was the first lot of equipment. We can get new equipment depending on the availability of rough diamonds.
Currently, the selling of diamonds through tender system, which gives preference to the highest bidder, is problematic to us. Government should address that,” he said.

Kurotwi said there was no justification of exporting unpolished diamonds, which robbed the country of the most desired liquidity and employment creation.

Currently the diamond centre employs 40 people.

India has created more than 60 000 jobs after starting to trade diamonds with Zimbabwe.

“Government should stop forthwith exporting rough diamonds so that we process all rough diamonds. Each time Zimbabwe is selling diamonds worth $100 million, it is losing $300 million. I am not saying we should be the only player, but there are also other private players who can come on board,” Kurotwi said.

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