Zimbabwe Holds First Diamond Auction Since Mine Consolidation, Has 1.6M Cts To Sell

Mining and Exploration
23/02/2018 14:05

The government of Zimbabwe has conducted its first diamond sale since the consolidation of mining under the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) in Chiadzwa. The sale achieved approximately US$830,000, far surpassing the anticipated target of US$620,631. Although the ZCDC did not reveal the number of carats auctioned, one special stone fetched US$1,888, which is a remarkably improved figure from previous sales where the gems were sold for US$50 or less. The auction was attended by buyers from European, Middle Eastern, Southeast Asian and African countries, and is the first on schedule of tenders for 2018.

Mines and Mining Development Minister Cde Winston Chitando told journalists in Harare yesterday that the government was happy with the prices fetched by the diamonds. “It was encouraging to note that the test sale realised a value of US$829,067 against a set reserve value of US$620,631 implying that the bids were above reserve value by over 30 percent,” he said. “For example, one special stone fetched US$1 888 per carat. Government is encouraged with the fact that the diamond world is fully aware that Zimbabwe is back on the market. Mineral Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) and the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company are now working on a sales calendar so that diamond buyers will plan in advance and participate regularly in our auction sales.”

He adds, "We have gained a lot of market intelligence from this one sale and we are very optimistic about future sales. ZCDC and MMCZ are pursuing a collaborative approach with other Government agencies to promote Zimbabwe’s diamonds globally. Government has enlisted the assistance of Botswana and is optimistic that this will unlock significant value for the nation given the vast experience by Botswana in the diamond business." The next diamond tender is scheduled to run from 5 to 16 March 2018. ZCDC accumulated a diamond stockpile of 1.6 million carats from March through December last year, which were now up for sale. ZCDC, the state-owned corporation was created in 2016 after the consolidation of seven firms that were mining gems in the Marange diamond fields, located in the eastern part of the country. In 2017, sales were halted as the company underwent a restructuring process that, in the words of government officials, was aimed at aligning its marketing and sales framework to international standards.