Zimbabwe unlikely to meet 2016 diamond output target

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THE government says it is unlikely to meet targeted diamond output for 2016 due to disruptions during the consolidation of mining operations in Chiadzwa, eastern Zimbabwe, early this year.
Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa was last week quoted by the state-run news agency New Ziana as saying that at current production rates, the country was not likely to meet the full-year target of six million carats.
He said production had been affected by various factors, chiefly the consolidation process which had been met with resistance by some companies.
“We have set ourselves a target of six million carats this year, but we are nowhere near that because of the disruptions that came about as a result of the re-organization of that sector,” he said.
Zimbabwe started consolidating mining operations of six companies that were operating in the vast Chiadzwa diamond fields early this year after accusing them of lack of transparency in their operations.
The process, which created the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), will see the government becoming the majority shareholder with 50 percent, while the firms would hold the other 50 percent.
The Chiadzwa fields are estimated to hold 25 percent of the world’s diamond reserves.
According to official statistics, rough diamond output dropped to 152,475 carats in the first quarter of this year from 639, 377 carats in the same period last year.Advertisement