Zimbabwe will assume chairmanship of the World Kimberley Process in 2023, a role which will be used to maximise local diamond mining in the country, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said.
The Kimberley Process (KP) is an international certification scheme that regulates trade in rough diamonds, aiming to increase transparency and oversight in the diamond industry in order to eliminate trade in conflict diamonds or prevent the flow of conflict diamonds, while helping to protect legitimate trade in rough diamonds.
“Recently, our country assumed the Vice Chairmanship of both the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme and the African Diamond Producers Association, subsequently becoming Chair in 2023. These portfolios will be leveraged to achieve maximum value from our diamond mining sector,” Mnangagwa said at the Independence Day celebrations held Monday at Barbourfields in Bulawayo.
But critics have said despite the ‘rich resource,’ the diamonds have become a curse for the country as murky deals with Russian and Chinese firms, which have resulted in the ‘super-exploitation’ of Zimbabwean communities whose profits yield less for the country.
Nevertheless, the president said the mining sector has immense potential to spur socio-economic development and growth of Zimbabwe’s economy.
“Due to the responsive strategies, we are on course to achieve the target of a US$12 billion mining industry by 2023,” Mnangagwa said.
“It is also pleasing to note that Artisanal and Small to Medium Scale Gold Miners contributed 62 percent of the total gold deliveries to Fidelity Printers in 2021.”
Zimbabwe was elected vice chair in Moscow, Russia on November 12, 2021.
The KP has 56 participants representing 82 countries, with the European Union and its Member States counting as a single participant.
KP members account for approximately 99.8 percent of the global production of rough diamonds.
In October last year, it was reported that the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) recorded the highest ever production of over 700 000 carats.
Mines and Mining Development Minister, Winston Chitando, said in 2021, the ZCDC was producing over four million carats and by 2023 projected that ZCDC would be producing more than seven million carats.