HARARE: Zimbabwe’s largest diamond miner, the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), aims to increase its annual production to over 5 million carats from 4.1 million carats last year.
Other diamond mining companies, including Anjin, a Zimbabwe-China joint venture and Murowa, have also embarked on a drive to expand production, Mines Minister Winston Chitando said on Thursday.
“There is strong growth taking place in the diamond sector, ZCDC had record production last year, they produced 4.1 million carats from a base of about 1.8 million carats in 2017 and this year their target is to produce over 5 million carats so they are doing very well,” Chitando said.
The ZCDC, Anjin, Murowa and Russian-owned Alrosa are the four companies licensed to mine diamonds in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe’s diamond industry is expected to contribute at least 1 billion U.S. dollars to the government’s ambition to extract minerals worth 12 billion dollars as part of an overall plan to transform the country into an upper-middle-income economy by 2030.
Under the envisaged mining roadmap, gold is expected to contribute 4 billion dollars, platinum 3 billion dollars, while chrome, iron, steel and coal will contribute 1 billion dollars.
In 2021, Zimbabwe’s mineral exports reached 5.7 billion dollars, a huge leap from 3.2 billion dollars recorded the previous year.
The mineral-rich southern African country sees the mining sector as the main driver for economic growth.