ZIM starts work on diamond bourse
> Masimba Gomo
Bulawayo -The Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) has started work to set up the first ever diamond bourse in the country.
The company has called for consultancy work on the multi-million dollar project.
Zimbabwe had planned to establish a diamond exchange by end of the first half of 2015, but however the target could not be met due to a host of challenges.
MMCZ said work was expected to begin next year.
“(We are seeking) consultancy for the establishment of the Zimbabwe Diamond Bourse,” it said.
The Southern African country’s plans to set up a diamond exchange have been endorsed by the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB).The federation had pledged to work with Harare to help the idea bear fruit.
The country’s diamond production rose to a peak of about 12 million carats in 2012 and the share of Africa’s production stood at 15,2 percent the following year.
The country accounted for eight percent of the global output making the country the world’s sixth largest producer.
Commenting on the issue, a diamond expert who declined to be named said the exchange will optimize gem mining in Zimbabwe.
“When there is an exchange buyers are convinced that they are getting a better deal because prices will be determined by market forces. In addition to that, there will be a lot of transparency which is a plus to any sector,” the expert said.
“With a diamond exchange, more investors will be captured to invest in mining of the gems which is what we want at the moment.
Investors will determine the amount of investment basing on the performance of the diamond bourse making it key in unlocking funds.”
The expert said the diamond exchange in Zimbabwe will enable the country to trade gems from other regional countries, which do not have the facility.
“Diamonds from countries such as Malawi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia and Mozambique will be traded in the country and certainly that comes with benefits for the industry and the economy in general,” the expert said.
Currently Harare is in the process of merging about five diamond mining companies in Chiadzwa (Manicaland province) into one company to be known as Consolidated Diamond Mining Company.
Government will have shares in the company through the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation.