Diamonds output increases

Source: Diamonds output increases | Sunday Mail (Local News)

Norman Muchemwa
THE Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company has recorded a 54 percent jump in after Government extended US$80 million to recapitalise the company.

ZCDC was created by Government under Special Grant 6026 after the expiry of the special grant held by diamond miners in Chiadzwa with the aim of transparency and production in the sector.

The company’s CEO Dr Morris Mpofu last week told The Sunday Mail that, “ZCDC is emerging strong from the shadows of an industry which was marred by a myriad of challenges. Before consolidation, diamond contribution to national development was low.

“We have invested $25 million in a large single fixed crushing plant with capacity to crush over 450 tonnes of ore per hour. ZCDC produced about 2,4 million carats from January to October 2018 and this is an increase of 54 percent from 1,56 million carats produced in 2017. In 2016, 895 000 carats were produced.”

Dr Mpofu said ZCDC would likely achieve its highly competitive target of three million carats this year.

“Over $100 million has been invested in exploration, mining and processing right through to cleaning, valuation and sale of rough diamonds.

“The State miner’s balance sheet has grown from $45 million in 2016 to over $250 million by September 2018.

“ZCDC is also focusing on contributing towards Vision 2030, which seeks to transform Zimbabwe into an upper middle-income economy by 2030 through employment creation, foreign currency generation and investment in infrastructure,” he said.

Dr Moyo said ZCDC was targeting to be among the top five rough diamond producers in the world.

“We are targeting at least 10 million carats per annum by 2023 and we are confident that the ongoing exploration work and enhanced operational capacity on current operations will facilitate the required growth,” he said.

“The company has established a fully-fledged exploration department which is equipped with drill rigs, mobile processing plants and earth moving equipment. ZCDC will be conducting aero-magnetic surveys, ground penetrating radar, bulk sampling and other forms of exploration and resource evaluation to discover diamonds deposits in the country.

“Work is currently underway in three projects outside Marange where we are searching for viable Kimberlite deposits.”

Dr Mpofu said the plan was to invest $400 million over the next five years, with 25 percent of that going to exploration and evaluation.

“ZCDC has been able to upgrade some of its resource deposits categorisation from inferred to indicated category as it moves towards building a bankable resource base,” he added.