Sunday, November 27, 2011

Zimbabwe to open diamond sale offices in UAE, Belgium

Zimbabwe is planning to open satellite offices in Belgium and the United Arab Emirates to facilitate the sale of diamonds from Marange and optimise earnings from diamond mining operations.

Government representatives are already in talks with emissaries of the two countries to finalise modalities of the proposed move.

Mines and Mining Development Minister Dr Obert Mpofu yesterday confirmed the Belgians and Emiratis approached Harare with the offer earlier this month.

He said the envisaged arrangement was specifically aimed at increasing Zimbabwe’s diamond trade.

The UAE and Belgium are among the biggest international diamond buyers.

“We are discussing with Dubai and Antwerp for us to open offices in these countries for the convenience of trading in our diamonds,” he said.

“We would also like to ensure value is added to the gems. It is an encouraging development that will make it easy to polish our diamonds.”

The development comes as Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) monitors for Zimbabwe Abbey Chikane and Mark Van Bockstael gave Anjin Mine in Marange the green light to export its two-million-carat stockpile.

This brings to three the number of diamond mining companies operating in the district.

Mbada Diamonds and Marange Resources are the other two.

In a letter to stakeholders last week, KP chair Mathieu Yamba said: “I would like to commend you (the monitors) on the high quality of the work done.
“I take note of the final conclusion, which declared Anjin Investments fully compliant on November 17, 2011.

“Abiding by the Kinshasa Decision, exports from Anjin Investments may, therefore, take place with immediate effect.”
A plenary session held in the Democratic Republic of Congo on November 1 gave Zimbabwe the green light to export Marange diamonds without further hindrance.
Some Western countries had for long fought to block the exports.

Zimbabwe stands to earn more than US$2 billion from the three mines annually.
The country has potential to satisfy more than 25 percent of global diamond demand.

Meanwhile, Mbada Diamonds last Wednesday donated blankets, clothes and foodstuffs to Isheanesu Home for the Disabled in Harare’s Glen View suburb.
The donation, handed over by the company’s chief administration officer, Patience Khumalo, is part of the firm’s corporate social responsibility programme.

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