The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) has disputed reports from a month ago that it is exporting diamonds to Botswana, now saying rather it is merely learning lessons from the neighbouring country's mining and processing sectors. ZCDC CEO Morris Mpofu said the government had facilitated engagement with entities in Botswana involved in the diamond industry, but the aim is to draw from Botswana's experience rather than having them process Zimbabwe's diamonds. Gaborone has managed to gradually reduce its reliance on the precious mineral through building capacity in other economic sectors, something that Zimbabwe is trying to emulate.
ZCDC acknowledged the need to address bottlenecks in downstream processes that have for long led to poor branding of Marange diamonds, consequently resulting in under-pricing. "Facilitated by the ministries of Mines from the two countries, ZCDC is engaging Botswana in the following areas of cooperation aimed at increasing operational efficiency, production effectiveness and industry growth: rough diamond mining and processing, sorting and valuation of rough diamonds, skills transfer and human capital development exchange programmes, product security models and technology transfer across the entire diamond value chain," Mpofu said. ZCDC has also set in motion programs to capacitate the local cutting and polishing industry, and has contributed to the planning of a Gemology Centre in Mutare. Zimbabwe has not benefited much from the discovery of large diamond deposits in the Chiadzwa area in Manicaland due to leakages and lack of investment.