Zimbabwe Q1 Diamond Output Plummets

Rough DiamondsHarare: Zimbabwe’s diamond output dropped 36 percent to 419 788 carats in the first quarter of the year from 660 000, a year earlier.

The Herald newspaper reports that weak production was expected to continue in the “short term” as alluvial diamonds in Marange were “fast depleting”.

Zimbabwe sold rough diamonds worth $75,92 million in the five months to May 5, 2015 from 1 410 446,44 carats. Of the figure, $15.2 million went towards royalties, management and depletion fees.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s mines and mining development deputy minister Fred Moyo encouraged investors to consider minerals such as chrome, apart from diamonds.

“Investors can also look in the chrome sector as the country holds 80 percent on the world’s metallurgical quality chromite resource,” he said at an investment forum in South Africa. He also said there was an investment case in platinum, gas and lithium sectors.

Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha also said Zimbabwe had large reserves of minerals which had not been exploited to their full potential.

“Immense investment opportunities exist in exploration, mining and beneficiation of these minerals. Linkages are essential in transforming the country from a producer of primary products into a producer of value added goods for both the domestic and export markets,” he said.