Zimbabwe set to be region’s diamond hub – report

13th January 2016 By: African News Agency

JOHANNESBURG – Zimbabwe is inviting consultants to help establish its own diamond bourse with the aim of becoming a regional diamond trading hub which is expected to attract traders from around the world, a report said on Wednesday.

According to Zimbabwe’s state-owned newspaper, The Herald, the diamond bourse, to be part of a standardised one-stop hub for trading in diamonds and semi-precious minerals, is expected to turn Harare into a diamond city.

This follows a 2013 research trip by the government and officials from mining parastatals to the Antwerp Diamond Trading Centre in Belgium.

Bidding consultants will hold a second compulsory site visit at the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) offices in Harare on Thursday.

The Herald said that if the diamond trade centre is established, it would compete with major centres like Antwerp, New York, Mumbai and Dubai.

MMCZ deputy general manager Masimba Chandavengerwa is reported to have said on Tuesday that most international diamond buyers had expressed their interest in Zimbabwean diamonds and that the bourse would attract other diamond producers on the continent and beyond.

“By having a diamond bourse, it means we will ensure that the grading, cutting and polishing are standardised so that we don’t have different grades coming from different miners,” Chandavengerwa is quoted as saying.

Chandavengerwa said told The Herald that banks and insurance companies, experts in cutting and polishing, as well as jewellers would all be under one roof, which would improve security of the precious gems and eliminate pilferage.

In 2014 vast, unexplored diamond fields — reported to stretch over 10 000 km2 and be worth billions of dollars – were discovered in the Umkondo Basin in Zimbabwe.

The Herald said Zimbabwe’s diamond deposits constitute nearly 30% of the world diamond deposits.