Natasha Chamba, Business Reporter
STATE-OWNED Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) plans to produce 4,1 million carats of diamonds this year from 2,8 million carats last year.
Notwithstanding the environmental challenges that affected the mining sector in the last quarter of 2018, chief among them fuel shortages, limited foreign currency and exchange rate induced inflation, the diamond producing firm managed to surpass its set target of 2,4 million carats with output of 2,8 million carats.
The 2,8 million carats contributed over 80 percent of the projected 3,5 million diamond output of 2018.
ZCDC chief executive officer Dr Morris Mpofu said the company’s transition from alluvial to conglomerate-based mining on the back of investments in new machinery has seen projections for output this year being reviewed to 4,1 million carats.
“There is that need to review the growth prospects of the sector to unlock more value in the exploration and beneficiation process so we anticipate a rise in overall output and this year we anticipate growth up to 4, 1 million carats,” he said.
Dr Mpofu said the company is set to contribute to national growth and recovery through the generation of foreign currency, creation of employment and contribution to the fiscus.
“We hope that the success we have achieved now is what we want and the future is all about economic growth prospects for the nation,” he said.
The company plans to invest $20 million in the establishment of a state-of-the-art diamond value management centre to enhance capacity in cleaning, sorting, valuation, sales and security and it has begun exploring possible partnerships with other international diamond companies that have well-developed value management technologies.
The firm resumed diamond sales in 2018 and has so far invoiced over $49 million from diamond tenders held in the last quarter of 2018.
ZCDC is expected to continue conducting periodic diamond tenders in 2019 to sell both its current production and the accumulated stocks.