Production of diamonds in Zimbabwe this year is expected to fall to 3.5 million carats from 5.9 million carats mined last year because of a significant decline in alluvial diamond reserves in the Marange gem fields in Manicaland Province in eastern Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe extracts alluvial diamonds from the vast Marange diamond fields but these are fast depleting, prompting calls for the exploration of new deposits. The size of the Marange fields is estimated at between 60,000 and 70,000 hectares. In his mid-term fiscal policy review statement, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said output for this year would not meet initial projections. "Diamond output for the first half of 2015 is estimated at 1.44 million carats, compared with 1.447 million carats recorded for the same period in 2014. Diamond output for the entire 2015 is projected at 3.5 million carats, down from the initial projection of 6.5 million carats."