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Zimbabwe capable of producing 14.5 mln cts by 2014 - report

29 august 2012

Zimbabwe is capable of producing 14.5 million carats of gem and near gem quality diamonds by 2014 from Marange, Murowa and River Ranch, an independent report has suggested.
Equity Communications said in its diamond report for the year 2012 that these diamonds would have a value of $1.7 billion.
It was, however, quick to point out that the projections were not based on verified information about diamond production in Marange.
“To be sure, we have not been able to verify information on Marange because the official position is that this information is not supposed to be made public. Nevertheless, the scale of operations by Anjin in particular and Mbada, to a lesser extent, suggest that the massive production figures proffered are plausible,” reads the report.
“What baffles us is the huge discrepancy between what is made public and what is not made public.”
Equity Communications also projected that Zimbabwe’s production will grow by a more modest 8-11 percent in 2012.
It said the country grew its production by 1000 percent in 3 years to 11.1 million carats in 2011.
However, this figure appeared to clash with the latest Kimberley Process data, which showed that Zimbabwe produced 8.5 million carats last year.
Meanwhile, Equity Communications said it was not possible to ascertain the longevity of diamond reserves available in Marange until a proper scientific study was completed.
It said  that only 20 percent of the total concession area had been allocated, adding that the Anjin claim had progressed furthest because of Chinese investment while the other allocated concessions had struggled to scale production significantly because revenue generated was diverted into state coffers to meet urgent national requirements.
Marange Resources, DMC, and Mbada Diamonds were some of the companies operating in the diamond fields.
Equity Communications said that it does not foresee any new diamond mines coming on board in the near future in Zimbabwe.
“Moreover, Zimbabwe recently inflated mining fees and prospectors will have to fork out $1 million for a prospecting licence and an additional $5 million to register a claim for three years,” it said.
 
Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished