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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

ZCDC transforms diamond mining in Zimbabwe

Story by Owen Mandovha

THE Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company has earned its stripes in transforming diamond mining in Zimbabwe to meet global standards.

The government did not renew concessions for mining companies that were operating in the Chiadzwa area of Manicaland on the expiry of their franchises choosing to incorporate state-owned Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) to ensure the mineral resource benefits the economy. 

The development which is a clear demonstration of how the government has succeeded in organising and developing the diamond mining industry comes at an opportune time as the Kimberly Process Conference kicks off in Victoria Falls where Zimbabwe will take over the reins of the diamond certification scheme as Chair.

“ZCDC assumed all the concessions which were to about 5 mining companies and immediately started to conduct prospecting and exploration of the resource whereas previous miners were solely focused on alluvial mining,” noted ZCDC Acting Mineral Resources Executive, Mr Admore Mangoma.

“There is now increased transparency in the way mining is being conducted now because there is improved regulation of the industry which in the past did not meet international standards set by the KPCS,” he added.

ZCDC is now the linchpin of diamond mining, with the country having undertaken extensive prospecting and exploration of the gems to ensure Zimbabwe’s diamond trade conforms to international best practices.

“These are integrated mining operations where extraction of the diamond ore is done in several pits here. The diamond ore is crushed at the liberators whereas diamonds are sent to Harare for cutting and polishing,” said ZCDC Plant Manager, Mr George Chipepera.

Whereas in the past, companies mining diamonds in Chiadzwa did so with little or no transparency and without maximum benefit to the economy, the ZCDC is expected to produce over six million carats this year alone from a paltry 700 000 carats in 2017 – earning an estimated US$500 million in revenue this year as the diamond industry is expected to contribute US$1 billion to the US$12 billion mining industry target set by government.

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