via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Mugabe seeks diamond polishing partnership with China 03 September 2014 by New Ziana
President Robert Mugabe said Zimbabwe intended to partner a Chinese company, Chow Tai Fook, to process local diamonds to add value.
At the moment, the country exports its diamonds, mainly mined in Marange, in raw form.
Beneficiation of natural resources, especially minerals, forms the centre piece of Zimbabwe’s new five-year economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio Economic Transformation.
Under the programme, government has directed that manufacturing and mining industries develop value addition strategies for the country’s minerals and agricultural produce.
President Mugabe, who is on a state visit to China, said Zimbabwe wanted to tap Chow Tai Fook’s diamond processing expertise and technology to enable the country to establish a diamond cutting and polishing industry.
The company, which is based in Guangdong province, is one of the biggest diamond manufacturers in the world with operations in Botswana and South Africa, among other countries.
“We came here for obvious reasons; we wanted to visit factories especially the diamond company. We have discovered diamonds in the country and we are at production level but at the same time we have been thinking of cutting and polishing of diamonds,” President Mugabe said.
“And of course we knew that there was a famous company that does polishing and goes beyond that, and so we would want to partner (it),” he said.
President Mugabe said Africa preferred doing business with China because it disliked the unfavourable way it was treated by the West.
“It’s a fact that the Chinese are part of us as we kick away the British and Americans. When they give a little funding assistance to your country, they always attach conditions. They would want to use aid to control (African countries). China uses aid to promote; you know, the Africans remain in control of their resources,” he said.