Zimbabwe’s second diamond tender of 2018 earned $28.3 million from 423,066 carats, for an average price of $67 per carat. This represents a huge step forward as the country tries to regain market confidence and reclaim a stake in the global diamond trade, even though the tender attracted fewer international buyers than expected.
The first sale held back in February achieved approximately $830,000, though the number of carats sold was not disclosed, and held a second tender in April (no figures found). The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), through the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) held the tender from August 28 to September 12, which was attended by buyers mainly from Asia, the Middle East and Africa, but also from Belgium and Canada. Mines Minister Winston Chitando said two more tenders are planned between October and December this year, and the ZCDC, through the MMCZ, plans to explore selling opportunities in Antwerp, Dubai and Shanghai.
Minister Chitando also announced that the ZCDC has acquired a new rough-diamond processing plant, said to cost $100 million, which President Emmerson Mnangagwa will commission commissioned during the final quarter of the year. The new plant was necessary as the ZCDC is now implementing conglomerate mining operations following the depletion of alluvial deposits in Chiadzwa. According to reports, the minister further said such announcements were part of the government’s efforts to, “ensure transparency and accountability in mining revenue, including diamonds.” The recent tenders follow a period during which the ZCDC had temporarily exited the market to allow for the development and implementation of, “an effective diamond value management framework and establishment of a robust marketing and sales strategy.”