By Tatenda Mujeyi
The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) and Russian firm Alrosa have signed a diamond mining and exploration partnership at Munhumutapa Building in Harare yesterday.
The signing ceremony which was attended by the President of Zimbabwe, Russian Ambassador, senior government officials, and senior Alrosa management is a follow up to the country’s Diamond Policy of 2018.
“As a way of background, most of you will recall that in December 2018, The Government of Zimbabwe approved the Diamond Policy which allowed four companies to mine diamonds in Zimbabwe. The partnership further allows other players interested in the exploration and mining of diamonds to do so, in partnership with the ZCDC,” President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa said at the signing ceremony.
The agreement is likely going to realise an improvement in the country’s diamond mining and exploration process following Zimbabwe’s resource base and Alrosa’s vast experience and equipment base.
“The company is one of the leading diamond companies in the world, accounting for 29% of the global diamond production by volume and reputed for cutting edge technology, for all processes along the diamond value chain,” the President said.
On one hand, Zimbabwe has vast potential diamond resource across the entire country and a pool of highly qualified personnel, on the other, Alrosa has a wealth of experience and skills in diamond exploration, mining processing and marketing globally said ZCDC Board Chairperson Engineer Killian Ukama.
The project goes hand in hand with the Government’s thrust of Vision 2030 as well as the Open for Business Mantra of the Second Republic.
“This will create more value for the country, Government and other stakeholders resulting in the rapid development and growth of the national economy in line with Government’s Vision 2030,” Engineer Ukama said.
The partnership will likely realise a target of turning the Zimbabwean diamond mining industry into a complete One billion American Dollar Output and related value chain industry by 2023.
“The attainment of 10 million carats and US$1 billion contribution diamond industry by 2030 remains our Target.” Engineer Ukama added.
President Mnangagwa reiterated that the ensuing exploration efforts are expected to culminate in the discovery of more diamond deposits for development into operational mines that will significantly contribute to the total diamond production output and related value chain products in Zimbabwe.
The agreement however follows reports on the standing impasse between Government and other operators whose licenses were cancelled following the 2018 National Diamond policy.