Zim to host diamond conference

HARARE - Zimbabwe hosts the inaugural Diamond Conference this month in Victoria Falls where 300 delegates are expected to attend giving the country an opportunity to consolidate relations with the international diamond community.

Kimberly Process monitor for Zimbabwe Abbey Chikane acknowledged that the conference will serve to shed light on the country’s diamond mining activities.

“As the country Kimberley Process monitor, I have been witnessing tremendous changes and improvement in the mining landscape in the country. Today, all diamond mines in Zimbabwe have reached international standards and stand as a model for many diamond-producing countries,” said Chikane who also served as the first chair.

Top leaders from diamond centres, including  India, Antwerp, Dubai, South Africa, Ramat Gan  and New York as well as the Kimberley Process chair, Gillian Milovanovic, will deliver speeches with delegates expected to participate in the event.

Minister of Mines Obert Mpofu said the moment had come to explore and unlock Zimbabwe’s diamond potential together with the international community.

“I am proud to see the support of so many international leaders for this initiative. We hope the Zimbabwe Diamond Conference 2012 will give our country the opportunity to show our strength to the international community,” said Mpofu.

In addition to Mining ministers from South Africa, Angola, Namibia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Zimbabwe Diamond Conference 2012 will also showcase top leaders from Zimbabwe’s own diamond mining industry, on the second day of the conference.

These speakers will include Godwills Masimirembwa, the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC); Dave Kassel, the chairperson of New Reclamation Group (Pvt) Ltd.; Ramzi Malik, the director of Diamond Mining Corporation; Obed Dube, the chief executive of Marange Resources (Pvt) Ltd.; Jiang Qingde, the chairperson of Anhui Foreign Economic Construction (Group) Co. Ltd.; Zebra Kasete, the chief executive of Murowa Diamonds and Richard Mvududu, the chairperson of the Diamond Beneficiation Association of Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwean diamonds continue to dominate the international market, with the Kimberly Process (KP) reporting that the country is now the world’s fifth largest producer.

However, Finance minister Tendai Biti says diamond leakages are expected to continue despite government recently appointing the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) to supervise all mining operations. - Kudzai Chawafambira

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