Zimbabwe’s Local Auction Oversubscribed

Rough DiamondsHarare: First Element, which conducted Zimbabwe’s first local diamond tender in Harare last week, said although the stones that were placed under the hammer were few, there was a strong appetite from foreign buyers.

Company managing director Johan Erikson told a diamond conference that was convened last week in Harare that about 400 buyers and 133 companies attended the auction.

He said more were expected in future sales. “We truly believe in the success of the current tender. We shared with the people your diamonds and they loved them,” said Erikson.

“The feedback we got from the tender facility is enormous.” He also said that conducting auctions locally benefited mining companies and downstream industries.

First Element, which was awarded a two-year contract to market the country’s diamonds after handling Zimbabwe’s first three tenders in Antwerp, Belgium, said it was prepared to transfer skills to Zimbabweans.

Zimbabwe planned to have dual auctions, locally and abroad, but would for now concentrate on local sales following the seizure of its goods worth about $45 million in Belgium by Amari Platinum and a group of Dutch farmers. A ruling on the matter was due next month.