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Inaugural Diamond Conference opens

THE inaugural Diamond Conference opens in Victoria Falls tomorrow as Zimbabwe plans to tap knowledge on how it can harness diamond resources.

REPORT BY OUR STAFF

This comes at a time the country is exporting rough diamonds, which means that it is exporting labour to various countries, notably India.

Prince Mupazviriho, Mines and Mining Development permanent secretary, told Standardbusiness on Friday the conference was meant to gather ideas on how the country could develop the industry, having attained Kimberley Process compliance.

“The conference will look at how we develop the industry, having attained compliance. We will share information on how we can develop our own systems,” he said.

Mupazviriho said the conference would help the country on how it can complement the Diamond Policy.

The conference will bring together key stakeholders in the industry, that include officials from the World Diamond Council and Antwerp Diamond Centre, among others.

Zimbabwe mines diamonds from Murowa and the resource-rich Marange fields.

Four companies — Marange Resources, Mbada, Diamond Mining Corporation and Anjin —are mining on concessions in Marange, which are owned by the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC).

ZMDC wholly owns Marange Resources and is in a 50-50 joint venture with other partners in DMC and Mbada. A Chinese consortium is operating with the army in Anjin.

Diamond revenue was expected to plug the gap and was projected to reach US$600 million this year.

Minister Tendai Biti has been accusing diamond producers of not remitting to the fiscus.

Diamond producers and the Ministry of Mines say sanctions have had an effect on the prices of diamonds and hence are affecting revenue.

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