The Sunday News
Judith Phiri, Business Reporter
Zimbabwe has urged more investors and players to invest in and undertake value addition of the country’s diamonds, with the diamond sector expected to contribute US$1 billion to the mining industry’s US$12 billion target by 2023.
Zimbabwe is among the 192 countries participating at the ongoing Expo 2020 Dubai. The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), as part of the Zimbabwe delegation to the expo, hosted the Zimbabwe diamond dinner night at Address Dubai Marina.
The event was aimed at attracting international investment as well as a platform to showcase the vast potential that the country has in terms of value addition in the diamond industry.
Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando said that Dubai was one of the uptakers of Zimbabwe’s diamonds and there were a number of players who undertook value addition of the diamonds.
He said there was need to see increased value addition of diamonds in Zimbabwe.
“In fact, as a follow up from the conference (Expo 2020 Dubai Zimbabwe Mining Promotion Conference) there is an investor who wants to come and set up diamonds value addition facilities in Zimbabwe,” said Minister Chitando.
He emphasised the exponential growth expected in the mining industry that will see the US$12 billion target being achieved.
ZCDC chief executive officer (CEO) Mr Mark Mabhudhu highlighted that the company was doing well despite the Covid-19 induced challenges, driven by the vision of becoming a world class diamond producer.
“The vision of becoming a world class producer of diamonds always guides us, the purpose for which we were created to unlock sustainable diamond value for Zimbabwe really inspires us…,” said Mr Mabhudhu.
ZCDC is set to produce 3 million carats after surpassing its target for this year due to improved efficiency despite the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The miner’s target for this year was to produce 2.3m carats of diamonds, however by September they had exceeded that and is set to produce over 3m carats. The organisation is set to achieve a net profit for 2021 of over US$60 million.
Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) general manager Mr Tongai Muzenda said there was need for more investors and buyers as much as possible for Zimbabwe’s diamonds so as to contribute to the US$1 billion diamond sector target by 2023.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa who was also guest to the dinner night, applauded the work being done by ZCDC in contributing towards vision 2030, of becoming a upper-middle class economy.
She said Zimbabwe was also pleased to be elected Vice Chair of the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) for 2022, which meant that the country will automatically take over the Chair of the KPCS in 2023.
Representatives from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) royal family and the business community expressed willingness to invest more in Zimbabwe.
Marcin Lapa of the Office of H. H. Sheik Ahmed Bin Faisal Al-Qassimi-Member of the Ruling Family said: “It is a fantastic platform to exchange the knowledge. I learnt a lot. I learnt with whom to deal when coming to invest in Zimbabwe. I also learnt how I can access Zimbabwean market.”
He said they have been running different initiatives in Zimbabwe in sectors such as agriculture, IT and railways among others, and they were considering mining, with diamonds as something they want to explore in 2022.