Zimbabwe’s Diamond Output Declines 62%

Harare: Zimbabwe’s diamond production declined by 62 percent to 924 388 carats since January this year due to court cases filed by evicted miners resisting Government’s decision to consolidate the sector.Production of the precious mineral totalled 3,2 million carats in 2015, but has been negatively impacted this year by ongoing court cases where two miners are objecting to consolidation of the industry.

Giving oral evidence before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy yesterday, Mines and Mining Development Minister Chidhakwa said diamond production this year was severely affected by resistance to consolidation, which saw some mining companies challenging the decision in the courts.

Government ordered all diamond miners in the Chiadzwa/Marange to cease operations in February this year to pave way for consolidation of the sector following production and accountability issues, but some of the firms have opposed the directive.

Two of the seven firms that operated in Chiadzwa went to court alleging breach of contract by Government. The Court processes have prevented consolidated diamond mining entity, Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company, from moving into areas where the evicted diamond mines where exploiting the gems.