Zimbabwe Pilot Local Diamond Auction Fails

auction-hammer-iconHarare: In the beginning of October Zimbabwe opened its diamond tender in Harare. A large-scale local auction was schedule for early November to coincide with the country’s bi-annual diamond conference.

The Herald newspaper reports that the gems “went for a song” after international buyers bought them at ‘half’ the international price. The daily claimed that questions had been raised on how the local sales were being handled, adding that speculation was rife that the diamonds were deliberately undervalued knowing that Zimbabwe was desperate to sell as it was now facing a legal stumbling block in Antwerp.

Marange Resources sold about 75 000 carats and earned about $5.2 million, while Marange Resources had put 46 000 carats under the hammer, which earned it $2.8 million. Marange Resources acting chief executive Mark Mabhudhu was quoted as saying that they recorded an average price of $70 per carat down from the $143 per carat that was previously realised abroad.

Mr Mabhudhu said Botswana and South Africa were selling diamonds at an average price of $150 and $130 per carat respectively.

Mabhudhu said selling diamonds locally without an option of auctioning the stones on the international market would continue to drag down prices.