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Investment will increase gems’ output: World Bank

AN investment of US$250 million would see the country’s diamond production increasing by more than a third yearly by 2018, according to a report by the World Bank.

REPORT BY OUR STAFF

According to a growth recovery note, Zimbabwe Current Potential for Mining Growth, diamond production in Marange is expected to peak at 12 million carats over the next few years although an investment in the sector would grow that by 2018.

“Production is expected to peak at 12 million carats over the next few years, although it is estimated that an investment of US$150 million could rise production to 15,2 million carats per year by 2018,” the report said.

It said an investment in kimberlite diamond mining would see output nearly doubling to 1 million carats by 2018.

Production at Murowa is expected to reach 565 000 carats this year from 367 000 carats last year, the report said.

“In more favourable policy conditions, an investment of US$100 million could result in production of one million carats per year,” it said.

Diamond revenue is set to help drive the recovery of the economy.

Total diamond exports up to October this year stood at US$563 561 495, up from US$233 741 247 for the same period last year.

In his 2013 national budget, Finance minister Tendai Biti said despite high exports, total dividends received by Treasury was a mere US$41 million.

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