The latest development in a tumultuous year and a half for Zimbabwe's diamond industry has the State looking to do what the mining companies - whose mining claims were expropriated after the government’s consolidation of the firms mining in the Marange fields - reportedly failed to do, namely invest. T
he state-owned Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), which has little equipment of its own, says it is in discussions with local banks to secure up to $300 million worth of credit to finance the purchase of mining gear and expansion of its operations.
President Robert Mugabe’s government shut down eight mining firms operating in the Marange fields last year, consolidating their assets and operations into ZCDC. Since that time, Zimbabwe's diamond production has fallen dramatically.
Diamond output from the Marange fields since the forced merger in 2016 has fallen to just over 900,000 carats from peak figures of 12 million carats annually.
ZCDC chief executive Ridge Nyashanu said, “Going forward, we are looking at recapitalizing and the total cost required would come up to about $300 million. We have been in talks with local banks and other private finance houses and the negotiations are quite encouraging. We should be able to come up with an arrangement soon.” Nyashanu said the money would be used to purchase equipment and upgrade the fixed plant.
Last year, ZCDC secured a $30 million facility from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe for the purchase of equipment from Belarus.
Source: The Diamond Loupe