THE Government has released $850 000 to the Zimbabwe School of Mines for the construction of a state-of-the-art gemology centre in Mutare meant to aid in the value addition of diamonds in the country.
ZSM corporate affairs executive Mrs Siphathisiwe Maisiri said feasibility studies for the project have been completed.
“We have received $850 000 for the construction of the gemology centre in Mutare. We are expecting to start constructing the centre by the end of the year but we have already done the feasibility studies,” said Mrs Maisiri.
The facility will be sub-divided into four sections namely the School of Gemology, which will offer training courses across the value chain, the diamond manufacturing and lapidary, which will house cutting and polishing companies, jewellery blacksmithing and manufacturing as well as ancillary services that will house all supporting businesses.
The project is being spearheaded in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Diamond Mining Company and Diamond Beneficiation of Zimbabwe. The centre is part of Government’s efforts to go beyond diamond mining in the country but to also pursue value addition for all the country’s minerals.
This comes after the Vice-President General (Retired) Constantino Chiwenga stressed the need for value addition for all the country’s minerals before exporting them during his address at Zimbabwe Business Conference held during the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair on Wednesday last week.
Mrs Maisiri added that the Zimbabwe School of Mine is also engaged in the process of setting up a training college for small-scale and artisanal miners in Zvishavane. Runde Rural District Council allocated 20 hectares of land to ZSM for the project, which will also see the setting of an incubation hub as well as a research centre for platinum group of metals on the site.
She, however, said they have not received funding for it.
“We have not yet received funding for that project but we are hoping to partner with Mimosa,” she said.