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Zim mulls sell of diamond stockpile

07 july 2020
Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company                                                                            Image credit: ZCDC

Zimbabwe is planning to sell its diamond stockpile of over one million carats at a time when diamond trading has been slowed by Covid-19 pandemic, state-owned media reports.
The Minerals and Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) managing director Tongai Muzenda was quoted as saying by The Sunday Mail that the move will boost the country’s coffers with the much-needed foreign currency.
“We have quite a substantial stockpile to sell. Anytime soon we will be able to sell the diamonds,” he said.
“We have received a number of inquiries and we are looking at all the offers and choosing the best option for us to get the most from our diamonds.”
Muzenda said they were expecting to rake in up to $100 million from the sale of the diamond stockpile.
“In February we did not get the prices that we were expecting. We recalled the parcel. Because of the coronavirus, there was not much that we could do in terms of marketing the stones but now that lockdowns around the world are easing, we are in a position to sell and the offers that we are receiving are quite impressive,” he said.
Zimbabwe had been conducting diamond tenders in Zimbabwe and it is not clear where the planned auction will be conducted given that global travelling is still a nightmare and the country has not yet opened its borders.
Smaller diamond suppliers conducting tenders in Antwerp were said to be selling their goods at prices ranging from 15% to 25% lower compared to February levels.
De Beers and Alrosa allegedly maintained their prices at pre-Covid-19 during their last auctions, which discouraged buyers.
Zimbabwe produced 2.1 million carats last year valued at $141 million, according to data recently released by the Kimberley Process.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished