Zim and Bots in diamond beneficiation deal

Gaborone, February 13, 2018 (New Ziana) – Zimbabwe plans to start  sending rough diamonds to Botswana by June this year for cutting and  polishing, before auctioning, to enhance revenue earnings from sales of  the gems, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Tuesday.

Botswana, a major diamond producer, is home to the Diamond Trading  Company Botswana (DTC Botswana), the world’s largest rough diamond  sorting and valuing operation, with a capacity to sort 45 million carats  a year.

DTC Botswana is a 50/50 Joint Venture partnership between the Botswana  government and De Beers.

Zimbabwe, which mines diamonds primarily in the Chiadzwa area of  Marange in Manicaland province, has been auctioning rough diamonds which  do not fetch high prices compared to cut and polished stones.

And it is against that background that Zimbabwe has sought assistance  from Botswana.

President Mnangagwa, who has since arrived back home from Botswana  where was on a two day State Visit, said Zimbabwe intended to utilise  the advanced processing technology in that country.

“I am so impressed by the level of technology and advanced processing  that takes place here,” he said after a tour of the DTC Botswana.

“Currently there is discussion between my Minister of Mines and the  young man here (Botswana Minister of Mines) so that we bring our  diamonds from Zimbabwe to be processed here. I am also aware, I have  been told that you also process diamonds from South Africa even as far  afield as Canada which speaks volumes of the quality of this centre here  in Botswana.”

President Mnangagwa said his government was also consulting Botswana  and Angola on the formulation of a diamond policy for Zimbabwe.

Expanding on the matter, Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston  Chitando said the government was eager to maximize revenue from  diamonds.

“The fact of the matter is Botswana has more advanced technology in  terms of the cutting and polishing. So what is happening is an  arrangement is at an advanced stage of being implemented whereby  Zimbabwe would take its diamonds to Botswana,” he said.

“Discussions were held prior to the state visit and that has since been  firmed up during the State Visit and has now been formalised as a  result. At the latest by June we will have our diamonds being cleaned up  in Botswana.”

Chitando was part of President Mnangagwa’s delegation to Botswana.

Statistics show that Zimbabwe’s diamond production rose to 1.8 million  carats in 2017, from 961 000 carats mined in 2016.

New Ziana