GOVERNMENT is consolidating its presence and activity in Zimbabwe’s diamond industry, with the latest indication being the pumping in of US$50 million into its newest company in the Marange fields, Diamond Mining Corporation (DMC).
Report by Taurai Mangundla
DMC project manager, Ramzi Malik, told businessdigest his company had so far invested US$40 million since it started operations last year and plans to invest a further US$50 million by end of 2013.
The new money, he said, would be channelled towards capital equipment, thereby increasing production threefold. DMC has capacity to produce 7 200 carats a day worth about US$300 000, Malik said.
“We are currently producing, tonnage wise, 50 000 tonnes per month. With the modifications and updates, we are projecting we will be able to do an average of hopefully 150 00 tonnes per month, which will give us an average of hopefully 150 000 to 200 000 carats per month,” he said.
Currently,DMC is producing about 600 000 tonnes of ore a year and this would go up to 2,4 million tonnes upon completion of the expansion exercise.
The increased production is in line with Zimbabwe’s plans to utilise its Marange diamonds, which are said to account for 25% of global diamond deposits and have potential to dominate world markets by 2015.So far, DMC has conducted two local and two international auctions after receiving Kimberley Process Certification Scheme compliance in January this year.
“We have achieved record sales figures to date with other sales scheduled before the end of the year. These figures could have been significantly higher if not for the downturn in prices on the international diamond markets, restrictive measures of Office of Foreign Assets Control and challenges sanctions imposed on us and our consumers,” he said.'