State-owned Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) is planning to double its diamond production to 6,12 million carats in 2020 from the 3,1 million carats projected this year, according to local media reports.
“In 2017 we produced 1,8 million carats of diamonds, in 2018 we got 2,8 million carats and this year our target under revision is 3,1 million carats,” ZCDC acting chief executive Roberto De Pretto was quoted as saying.
“Our target for next year is 6,12 million carats of diamonds.”
Harare recently roped in Russia’s Alrosa to help ramp up diamond production.
He said ZCDC will expand markets for Zimbabwean diamonds to centres such as Mumbai and Dubai.
Meanwhile, Pretto said ZCDC assumed a huge legacy debt from the seven diamond mining companies that operated before their takeover.
“Some of the debt was assumed through purchased shares and the debt amounts to over $100 million. We have to make sure we cover that debt,” he said.
Pretto said there is also need to tighten controls to avoid leakages in the diamond mining sector.
“Most of the country’s diamonds are being lost through illegal panners who are operating in the mines and people who are stealing the diamonds,” he said.
“We cannot quantify how much diamonds we have lost as it is difficult, but all we can say is diamond discovery has declined over the years.”
Image credit: ZCDC