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Indian buyers bought 83pc auction diamonds
18/08/2010 00:00:00
by APA
 
Auction ... A man processing raw diamonds
 
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INDIAN buyers snapped up the largest chunk of the 900,000 carats of diamonds from Zimbabwe’s Marange fields that were auctioned last week, mining industry sources said on Wednesday.

The sources said Indian buyers bought 83 percent of the diamonds that were put under the hammer on August 11.

The leading diamond market watcher, the IDEX Online, reports that Indian buyers bought US$60 million worth of the gemstones from the auction which raised a total of about US$72 million.

The auction was the first of two exports Zimbabwe has been allowed to make following a July agreement with industry watchdog Kimberley Process to resume trade in rough diamonds from the controversial diamond fields to the east of the southern African country.

The sale was officially opened by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and attracted buyers from the United States, Israel, Russia, Lebanon and India.

Diamonds from the Marange fields near Zimbabwe’s border with Mozambique have courted controversy following allegations of smuggling, murder, rape and forced labour leveled against members of the army seconded to guard the area.

Zimbabwe says it holds a stockpile of over 4.5 million carats of Marange diamonds worth an estimated US$1.7 billion, almost as much as its 2010 budget.



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