Zim targets 3 million carats of diamonds

ZIMBABWE is targeting to produce about three million carats of diamonds by year-end up from 1,8 million produced last year, owing to a new conglomerate crushing and diamond recovery plant which will be opened in the next few months.

By Freeman Makopa

In a telephone interview, Mines minister Winston Chitando said the government will soon commission a new plant for crushing and recovery of diamonds in Marange.

“We are looking forward to the commissioning of a new crushing and diamond recovery plant in Marange, which will see us increasing diamond output.”

Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) chief executive officer, Morris Mpofu, told NewsDay that the country targeted to produce about three million carats of diamond as they have already hit one million carats in the first four months of the year.

“We have hit one million mark in the first four months of the year and we are targeting to produce about three million carats at the end of the year, up from 1, 8 million produced last year because we are set to start processing at a new conglomerate crushing and diamond recovery plant that was constructed in Marange.

“The plant will have the capacity to crush 450 tonnes of ore per hour and this means it will have the capacity to produce 600 000 carats at full throttle annually, but we will start off at half our capacity,” he said. Mpofu said the new plant will be fitted with high quality recovery technology and will be processing mainly large diamonds.

The government-backed $80 million recapitalisation programme enabled the acquisition of mining equipment from Belarus.

ZCDC, a State-owned diamond mining firm was formed following a decision to consolidate all diamond mining companies in Zimbabwe to form a wholly-owned government entity

The company is also looking forward to generating foreign currency through exporting polished diamonds, by constructing a diamond cutting and polishing plant in Fern Valley, Mutare.

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