Invest in local diamond auctions, Zim urged

HARARE - Zimbabwe must invest in re-establishing local diamond auctions to avoid being short-changed at international markets, Mungai Lenneiye, former World Bank Zimbabwe country manager said.

This comes as Mines minister Walter Chidakwa last week said the country will resume auctioning its diamonds locally in November this year on the back of challenges faced at the Antwerp, Belgium.

“…we have realised problems in selling diamonds in the international markets, particularly in Belgium,” he told Parliament.

Lenneiye said while the foreign gem auctions “give experience to participating countries, they do not benefit much from the prices offered”.

However, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said the country’s decision to auction gems at international markets “was a move to find out the value of the gems”.

“Dubai and Antwerp (sales) were to find out the reasonable prices for our gems,” he said, adding that “after these auctions we went from $30 per carat to $76 per carat”.

He also noted that the country was going to experience a considerable gem price surge through local auctions.

Zimbabwe currently sells its diamonds in rough form at international markets as it has no capacity to cut and polish them.

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