The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), the state-owned entity that now controls all diamond mining in the country, is looking at securing $200 million in foreign direct investment while also ploughing in another $200 million from its own diamond sales earnings to bring the country’s rough diamond output up to 10 million carats a year by 2023.
Stating this, ZCDC Chief Executive Morris Mpofu said that the strategy, contained in the company’s Diamond Value Management (DVM) plan, will primarily target exploration given that Zimbabwe’s easy-to-mine alluvial deposits have been depleted. Thus apart from the famed Chiadzwa diamond deposits in Marange that are currently being exploited, the ZCDC would look at other areas in Chimanimani as well as known kimberlites in Chihota and Mwenezi.
Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando was quoted as saying, “… in terms of the strategic plan they have, they would want to grow this to at least 10 million carats by the year 2023 and at least 12 million carats by the year 2025.”
Mpofu did not outline how the ZCDC intended to secure the $200 million in foreign direct investment. After taking over all the existing private operations in Chiadzwa, the ZCDC managed an output of just 0.9 million carats in 2016. However, output grew to 1.8 million carats in 2017 and the company is said to be well on the way to achieving 3 million carats this year.
The company has invested in a Mega Diamond Recovery (MDR) plant to recover large and high value stones that were not recovered in previous plant operations. The MDR will be used to also rework old tailings from the various private operations that existed before the ZCDC took over.