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16/12/2010 00:00:00
by Ngoni Chanakira
Diamond interest ... Tapiwa Mashakada
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SIXTY one diamond dealers from Antwerp, Belgium, visited Zimbabwe last week in a bid to secure diamond deals.

"Last week I met 61 diamond dealers from Antwerp in Belgium who wanted to buy our diamonds. They had the money and the only thing stopping them from doing so were the regulations," Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Minister Tapiwa Mashakada said

The minister said local diamonds would take over as the most foreign currency facility and mineral in Zimbabwe beating gold and platinum.

He said the diamond industry was growing in leaps and bounds and needed government support.

"They wanted to buy our diamonds," the minister said. "This goes to show that our diamonds are already very popular in the world."

Trade in diamonds from the Marange fields in eastern Zimbabwe is still banned by diamond watchdog the Kimberly Process over compliance issues.

However the government has insisted that measures have been put in place at Marange to comply with the KP’s requirements and officials vowed to defy the trade ban.

The Marange alluvial fields are said to be among the world’s richest with government officials insisting the country could earn at least US$2 billion from the gems annually.


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