ZCDC mulls drones to monitor Chiadzwa diamond mining activities

THE Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) says it plans to deploy drones to effectively monitor diamond mining activities in Chiadzwa.

Source: ZCDC mulls drones to monitor Chiadzwa diamond mining activities – NewsDay Zimbabwe January 20, 2017


ZCDC official, Ridge Nyashanu last week told members of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy and Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (Zela) officials during a tour of the diamond fields that his organisation was looking at several ways to ensure 100% monitoring of diamond mining processes to avoid leakages.

“We will be building a ZCDC sorting house, and ensure that all buyers are searched 100%,” he said.

“Plans are also underway to introduce the use of drones to monitor all mining zones because they are big.”

Currently, ZCDC is mining on only two concessions formerly worked by Diamond Mining Company and Marange Resources, while the sites formerly owned by Mbada, Anjin and Jinan are yet to be occupied due to a pending lawsuit.

“We are also going to integrate First Element and Kenako surveillance systems to ZCDC systems to allow remote access monitoring,” Nyashanu said, adding ZCDC was targeting serious diamond mining to match multinational De Beers and countries like Namibia and Botswana.

He also said they had inadequate machinery to conduct mining activities.

When ZCDC was formed, the initial projection was that it would produce 6,9 million carats annually.

In 2015, diamond grades in Chiadzwa had gone down and the actual production was 2,3 million carats.

The projection for diamond production in Chiadzwa was then reviewed in June 2016 to 1,3 million carats, but only 953 818 carats were produced.

Last year, President Robert Mugabe claimed that the country could not account for $15 billion worth of diamonds.

Zela official, Mukasiri Sibanda said there was need to ensure ZCDC performs and was accountable because the history of State-owned enterprises and parastatals in the country was tied to a legacy of corruption, lack of accountability, and financial leakages.

“When one looks at ZCDC operations, it shows they need to look for investors to put in finance, as opposed to seeking loans to buy equipment if they are to be profitable,” he said.