MINES minister Winston Chitando says he expects to announce a diamond policy later this month, which will also regularise the operations of the State-owned Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC).
BY VENERANDA LANGA
The policy is expected to lead to the unbundling of ZCDC and put legal requirements for mining companies to have corporate social responsibility programmes.
ZCDC was established in 2015 after government cancelled licences of miners in the Chiadzwa fields and consolidated all the diamond mining concessions in the area under ZCDC.
But the parliamentary committee on mines in the previous Parliament recommended that ZCDC be shut down because it was illegally constituted, while it was also revealed that former Mines secretary Francis Gundyanga and an unidentified individual held shares in the company. Government said it later bought them out.
“The diamond policy will be announced by November to give guidance on the operations of the diamond industry in the country, and specifically to deal with issues of ZCDC,” Chitando told the parliamentary committee on mines.
ZCDC expects to produce three million carats this year, up from 1,6 million last year, while production could hit 12 million carats in 2023.
Chitando also gave an overview of the mining sector, where he said currently, there were three major producers of platinum – Unki, Zimplats and Mimosa mines – which were either at stages of expansion, exploration, or finishing major projects.
“We are targeting that the final funding arrangements for the Great Dyke Investments be done by December, and we expect to see a major doubling up of the platinum sector through value addition,” he said.
Chitando told the committee he expects a total of 34 tonnes of gold by year end, a new record.
“The overall projection of gold is to get to 100 tonnes per annum, and this will be done through increasing support for the small-scale miners. There will be a $100 million facility for medium and large-scale miners,” Chitando said.