The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Corporation (ZCDC) has surpassed its first quarter target by 25%, after producing 751 303 carats on improved operational efficiencies.
The target for the period was 600 000 carats. In the comparable period last year, output was 422 518 carats.
BY BUSINESS REPORTER
ZCDC chief executive, Morris Mpofu said the company would be commissioning a 450-tonne per hour (TPH) conglomerate crushing plant and new equipment, which includes, 52 pieces of earth moving vehicles from Belarus and other mining and exploration equipment. The acquisition is partly funded from government’s $80 million injection, he said.
“The company’s combined processing capacity will be in excess of 750 TPH after the commissioning. In 2018, ZCDC is targeting to produce three million carats in 2018 which represents growth of 84% from its 2017 achievement of 1,8 million carats,” Mpofu said.
ZCDC output has been rising from 965 000 carats in 2016 to 1,8 million carats last year.
Mpofu said ZCDC would this year invest more than $20 million in exploration and evaluation, in an effort to upgrade known resources and discover new kimberlite deposits.
“Continuous investment in exploration and evaluation has allowed ZCDC to upgrade its resource statements, with some deposits now upgraded from inferred to indicated resources,” he said, adding that the State-owned diamond producer has also engaged a competent person to certify its resource statements according to the internationally recognised and standardised SAMREC code.
Mpofu said intensive exploration and evaluation work, coupled with enhanced mining and processing capacity, has facilitated ZCDC’s transition from processing of tailings to the mining of Run of Mine.
“By the end of 2017, ZCDC, through its new business model and the effective implementation of the conglomerate mining framework had transformed from processing over 90% tailings to run of mine of over 80%. During the first quarter of 2018, ZCDC continued to focus on conglomerate mining, which now largely forms the entirety of ZCDC’s run of mine,” he said.