By Thandiwe Katinhimure
State-owned diamond mining firm, Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), last week hit one million carats in line with its target in the first four months of the year.
ZCDC chief executive officer, Dr Moris Mpofu, told our Bulawayo Bureau at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair last Friday that the company hit its target of the first four months before end of April.
“As of last night, we hit the one million carats target for four months within three months and 27 days. As of the month of April, the target was 250 000 carats and we have already hit 251 713 carats before the month end,” he said.
“This shows we are on course to achieve three million carats for the year because we have seen great improvement, which will see the increase in our levels of confidence in terms of the conglomerate diamond reserves in Chiadzwa.”
ZCDC registered an 80 percent rise in its first quarter production compared to the same period last year. In the first quarter of this year, it produced 751 303 carats compared to 422 518 carats mined in the same period last year.
The first quarter haul was 25 percent above the 600 000 carats target ZCDC had set for itself for the period.
ZCDC was formed following a decision to consolidate all diamond mining companies in Zimbabwe to form a wholly-owned Government company.
The consolidated company was established with a view to ensure transparency, accountability and optimal commercial exploitation and marketing of Zimbabwe’s diamonds.
Dr Mpofu said the opening of another portal in Chiadzwa was set to raise the company’s performance for the year and beyond
“We believe that with the opening of the other dormant portal in Chiadzwa in the second half of this year, the commissioning of the new conglomerate diamond producer will be an upward track,” he said.
Dr Mpofu is on record as saying to ensure continued boom, ZCDC would commission a 450 tonne per hour conglomerate crushing plant as well as procure new mining and exploratory equipment from Belarus. The acquisition of mining equipment from Belarus is part of the Government-backed $80 million recapitalisation programme.
The company is also looking forward to generating foreign currency through exporting polished diamonds, by constructing a diamond cutting and polishing plant in Fern Valley, Mutare.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe is on the brink of clinching a deal with Botswana for the neighbouring country to start processing its diamonds at the world renowned Diamond Trading Company (DTC) in Gaborone.
If struck, the deal is a game-changing development set to see Zimbabwe doing value addition on the precious stones and fetching more money.