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Zimbabwe Eyes Domestic Diamond Exchange

Aug 21, 2014 5:27 AM   By All Africa
(RAPAPORT) All Africa:  Zimbabwe will auction local diamonds once or twice in Antwerp, Belgium, before testing its own planned domestic exchange in November this year. Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa said in an interview yesterday that the government was working on modalities of the domestic diamond exchange.

"We are preparing for the (domestic) auction in November. We will do one or two auctions in Antwerp between now and November. In November we will have the diamond conference and together with the diamond conference, we will have the auction," he said.

Chidhakwa said the government wanted to give buyers an opportunity to be part of the bi-annual conference.  Zimbabwe has been auctioning its diamonds on foreign exchanges, at the same time taking  notes on how the trading is conducted.

Zimbabwe has participated in four auctions in Belgium and Dubai where millions of dollars have been raked in and the hosting of the inaugural auction in Harare is expected before the end of this year.

Chidhakwa, however, said it was impossible to estimate the quantity of local gems that would be auctioned in all the planned forthcoming diamond auctions.

Zimbabwe held its third sale in July this year after the January auction that grossed $70 million, while in March $29.2 million was realized from 400,000 carats.

Antwerp held the first auction last December, where a disappointing average price per carat of $40 was recorded; before another auction at the same market saw the price rising to $76 in March.

Diamond auction centers across the world have scrambled for the opportunity to auction diamonds from Zimbabwe and the government has experimented with Antwerp and Dubai for a platform with highest returns.

Chidhakwa also said the process of consolidating diamond producers in Chiadzwa, to enhance production and improve transparency, was still ongoing. Mbada Diamonds, Anjin, Jinan, Diamond Mining Corporation, DZT-OZGEO, Marange Resources and Kusena submitted parcels totaling 960,000 carats in July.

The first auction of Zimbabwe's diamonds in Europe in December 2013, followed a decision by the European Union to remove the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) from targeted sanctions, which the government maintained was illegal. The U.S. still bans trade through sanctions.

Copyright © The Herald. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (
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