By Prince Mukuna
In a bid to promote transparency and the ease of doing business, diamond auctions will now be done through an online system and superintended upon by a software, Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando has said.
Minister Chitando revealed this when he officially handed over the Zimbabwe Electronic Diamond Trading System, which was initiated by Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), to the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ).
The system is a ZCDC initiative in line with its strategic intent of ensuring effective diamond value management.
ZCDC took on the initiative after realising that the process of selling diamonds in Zimbabwe was manual, laborious, time consuming, prone to errors and out of sync with global trends.
In his speech during the handover on Monday evening, Minister Chitando said the system is transparent and not subject to manipulation.
“This new software is convenient to both the marketer, MMCZ and the buyers.
“MMCZ will maintain a database of vetted local and international diamond buyers through this system”, Minister Chitando said.
“When a diamond tender is created online, buyers are invited through this system to participate in the tender. Buyers can place their bids online for the specific diamond parcels in a secure and confidential manner. Once the tender is closed, the software ranks the bids from the buyers and awards the parcels to the highest bidder, taking into account the set reserve price.
“The implementation of the Zimbabwe Electronic Diamond Trading System augurs well for future diamond sales and supports the ease of doing business mantra advocated by His Excellency, President Mnangagwa. Gone are the days when diamond proceeds would go unaccounted for.
“With this software, information such as how many carats have been sold, at what value and to whom will be immediately available. It is my fervent hope that MMCZ will extend the usage of this system to other producers who sell diamonds and other minerals through a tender process.”
Minister Chitando added that the use of this system will ensure that the sale of diamonds through MMCZ is in line with global best practice.
“This is well aligned to ZCDC’s recently developed Marketing and Sales Strategy to help in achieving its revenue targets and foreign currency generation for the country.
“This system is therefore a significant step towards ZCDC realizing its annual target of foreign currency earnings and contributing to the mining sector’s $12 billion target,” he said.