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Ishemunyoro Chingwere Business Reporter
The recently conducted Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe diamond auction that ran from September 9 to 13, saw 25 out of 28 invited diamond buyers participating in the sale which is now poised to meet producer expectation, an official has said.
The State minerals marketer put out a tender for 316 256 carats and the parcel was largely dominated by the highly sort-after gem quality stones which constituted 80 percent of the overall package.
All the diamonds that were on offer came from the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) and negotiations on final prices are underway.
The return of 80 percent gem quality as opposed to near-gems and industrial diamonds also further confirmed the compelling need for continued investment in ZCDC’s Chiadzwa diamond fields where high value stones continue to be mined.
MMCZ general manager Mr Tongai Muzenda yesterday said the auction adjudication process has been completed and buyers’ offers were not far off producer reserve prices.
“Out of the 28 invited (buyers), 25 participated and the buyers came from different countries, among them the United Arab Emirates, India, Belgium and Israel, among others who obviously included some locals,” said Mr Muzenda,
“We put on tender 316 256 carats during the auction that ran (September) 9 to 13.
“Adjudication has been done, and we are now seized with the process of negotiation with bidders, who I must note are close to our reserve prices.
“There is a challenge that market has been low, but as per our mandate, we continue to strive to get best outcomes.”
A strong performance in the diamond sector and its sub-sector is key to the mining sector achieving its 2023 target of US$12 billion annual exports up from US$3,2 billion attained last year.
Growth in the mining sector exports is one of the pillars on which Zimbabwe aims to build its upper middle-income economy by 2030 as envisaged by President Mnangagwa.
To this end, ZCDC has set itself a target to get to an annual production of at least 10 million carats of the precious stones by 2023 up from 0,9 million carats in 2016.
The State diamond miner went on to mine 1,8 million carats in 2017, before increasing production to 2,8 million carats last year and is this year targeting 4,1 million carats.