Zim to auction diamonds locally - Zimbabwe Situation

Zim to auction diamonds locally

via Zim to auction diamonds locally – DailyNews Live by John Kachembere  19 FEBRUARY 2014

Zimbabwe plans to auction its diamonds locally, Mines minister Walter Chidhakwa said.

He said a sale would be held before year end.

Chidhakwa said yesterday Zimbabwe would invite diamond buyers from Antwerp, Dubai, India and Shanghai to come and participate in the auction.

He said the inaugural diamond sale will be conducted in a “make-shift exchange” that would have been identified by the ministry.

“We are going to hold another auction in Dubai in March and then after three to four months we will hold another one in Shanghai. Depending on the expertise we would have accumulated from attending these international diamond auctions, we will hold our own auction sale in the country,” Chidhakwa said.

“Our desire is to ultimately have a permanent diamond exchange in the country comprising of factories, auction floors, shops and so on but at the moment we can identify places where it is secure to conduct our diamond auction,” he said.

The move is part of government’s strategies to improve transparency and accountability in the handling of diamond revenues.

Last December, the country believed to be holding up to 25 percent of the world’s alluvial diamonds sold 279 723 carats in Antwerp, Belgium but did not realise much from the auction.

However, the development has been hailed by critics as a critical step in reducing corruption and opaque operations in the diamond industry.

According to Global Witness, which campaigns against natural resource-related conflict, corruption and associated environmental and human rights abuses, some $2 billion in Zimbabwe’s diamond revenue has been unaccounted for since 2008.

The December auction got off to a slow start with the majority of the gems being of low quality and not properly cleaned.

Last week, Zimbabwe made a second attempt to sell its diamonds in Antwerp with the auction expected to end this Saturday.

The Mines minister said his vision is to push for the local beneficiation of diamonds as a way of empowering local people through the creation of jobs in downstream industries.

This comes as a local non-governmental organisation, the Centre for Natural Resource Governance, has said government is capable of creating over 210 000 jobs, if diamonds are cut and polished locally.

“Centre for Natural Resources Governance believes Zimbabwe can generate over $8 billion in revenue annually if a significant percentage of its rough diamonds were cut and polished locally,” it said.

The report comes at a time the Marange diamonds are on tender at the Antwerp World Diamond Centre amid expectations that the gems would fetch a higher price compared to the initial tender in December.

The initial Antwerp auction last year came three months after the European Union removed sanctions on State-owned mining company.

The Marange diamond fields, 400 km east of Harare, have been the focus of controversy since 20 000 small-scale miners invaded the area in 2008 before they were removed by the army and police.

 

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 6
  • comment-avatar
    furedi 4 years

    The Ministry of Finance and Zimra has to be present at these auctions to make sure that what is due to the state is paid.Infact the buyers should be requested to pay the state’s portion of moneys direct to the Ministry so that the diamond miner gets their money after taxes so to speak.Mr Chinamasa if you want the money you will have to chase after it nobody seems to want to bring it to you.

    • comment-avatar

      The Ministry of Finance and Zimra will be there to oversee one of the biggest cons in Zimbabwean history. Better auction at home so goods can be switched and huge profits deposited directly overseas. The Ministry of Finance and Zimra will be there to ensure the relevant ministers get their deposits on time!

  • comment-avatar
    jobolinko 4 years

    I thought the only way out was antwerp so why cry of sanctions if you can do it localy?

  • comment-avatar
    Nyoni 4 years

    I am not privy for a corrupt minister being responsible for our diamonds. This will definitely result in partisan ownership of WHAT IS RIGHTFULLY THE ZIMBABWEAN PEOPLES. We are not fools minister .

  • comment-avatar
    Mukanya 4 years

    Then how do we account for the proceeds from “THE AUCTIONS”?

  • comment-avatar
    Chivulamapot 4 years

    By the time they get around to these crooked auctions, Mugabe will be dead and the diamonds will have run out. Just a bare, sad place with nothing but the wind and blowing sand. Cry our Beloved Country!