Diamonds to be put on sale in February

HARARE – Diamonds worth millions of dollars are due to be put on sale next month, the first auction after the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) started operations.

Mines and Mining Development minister Winston Chitando confirmed the sale but declined to disclose the quantities involved.

“Last year, no diamonds were sold. There will be a first batch which is due for sale in February,” he said.

In February 2016, government evicted all diamond mining firms in the Marange diamond fields after their licences had expired and after some of them had declined to merge with State-run ZCDC.

Diamond production figures show a sharp rise to 1,8 million carats last year, up from 961 000 carats mined the previous year.

Zimbabwe is rated as the eighth largest diamond producer in the world, according to industry group Kimberly Process.