Zim diamonds lose sparkle as gold glitters – AfDB

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ZIMBABWE’S diamond export earnings fell nearly 30 percent to $175 million in the nine months to September from $248 million in the prior period last year, the latest African Development Bank (AfDB) report has shown.
Unsorted diamonds worth $173,2 million were exported in the period under review, compared to $80,2 million during the same period in 2013.
“Cumulative exports for non-industrial diamonds stood at $1,816,799 from January to September 2014, compared to $167,597,513 exported during the same period in 2013,” the AfDB said in the Monthly Economic Review for October released this week.
“The huge discrepancy on the exports in non-industrial diamonds in 2013 and 2014 is explained by the fact that the 2014 figures of non-industrial diamond exports from (the Zimbabwe Statistics Agency) Zimstat show that it was only in the month of February that exports were made, with nothing exported for the rest of the period,” said AfDB in the report.
Gold deliveries to October were 11,11 tonnes, surpassing the 10 tonnes required for the country to be reaccredited into the London Bullion Market Association.
Zimbabwe was ejected from the LBMA in 2008 after gold output plunged to three tonnes and since then, the country has been exporting its gold through South Africa’s Rand Refinery.
Fidelity Printers and Refiners, a unit of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, was re-opened last December following years of redundancy resulting from undercapitalisation and the liberalisation of gold exports in 2009.
In October alone, bullion deliveries rose by 11,60 percent to 1,268.41 kilogrammes over the same period last year after small-scale producers ramped up production.
“Deliveries by primary producers decreased by 8,04 percent to 838,22 kg in October, while deliveries by small-scale producers increased by 91,15 percent to 430.20 kg in October 2014,” noted AfDB.Advertisement