CHINESE mining firm Anjin Investments suffered a massive slump in diamond production in 2021 recording 70 000 carats from 790 000 carats produced the previous year due to the relocation of its processing plants.
The diamond company is, however, projecting a production ramp up this year.
Anjin is a 50-50 partnership between Chinese investor Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Company (AFECC) and the Zimbabwe National Army.
The company’s production trends came into the spotlight following the Commodity Outlook 2022 report released by the Chamber of Mines in February this year.
The report indicated that all the diamond firms produced an annual output of 4,2 million carats last year.
It further quantified that the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) contributed 89% while 10% came from RioZim’s subsidiary Murowa Diamonds.
Technically, this left a mere 1% unaccounted for, which could be attributed to Anjin.
“Production started in April 2020. Approximately 790 000 carats (have been produced in two years). 720 000 carats (were produced) in 2020 and 70 000 carats in 2021.
“Most of the work in 2021 focused on relocating plants to bring them closer to the mining area. From the old mining area of our mining concession to Portal B area,” Anjin public relations officer Special Matarirano said in an interview recently.
Anjin’s operations used to be centralised in Jesse and Chirasika concessions now known as Portal C and L2, prior to its forced exit in Marange in 2015.
Former Mines minister Walter Chidhakwa revoked licences of all the Marange miners, Anjin included.
However, Anjin made a surprise return to the vast diamond fields following a military coup in 2017. The miner was further awarded the most productive concession — Portal B — previously owned by Marange Resources and briefly by ZCDC.
Matarirano said Anjin is projecting a major comeback targeting to produce 700 000 carats this year and 12 million carats by 2025.
“Approximately 700 000 carats (in 2022) and 12 million carats (by 2025),” he said.
Matarirano added that Anjin is currently making use of the strip method to mine diamonds in the conglomerate matrix and also exploring to determine the resource in Portal B.
Its comeback is expected to boost the country’s combined annual diamond turnover to five million carats by year-end.
The development comes as Anjin is currently operating at 70% capacity utilisation according to information gathered from the firm.The diamond miner also indicated that it has a staff complement of around 500 workers with locals constituting 85%.