Zimbabwe's inaugural international diamond conference initially penciled for July will now be held in November in Victoria Falls, a Cabinet minister has said. The initial event had been organised by Country Factor of the United Kingdom in partnership with Utho of South Africa. Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu, whose ministry is now organising the conference, said it would take place on November12 and 13.
"The conference aims to highlight the accomplishments of Zimbabwe in the diamond industry," he said.
"After having been accepted again as a full member of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme in Kinshasa in 2011, Zimbabwe stands ready to give the world full transparency on its achievements as a major diamond producer."
International speakers lined up for the conference include World Diamond Council chairperson Eli Izhakoff, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre executive chairman Ahmed Bin Sulayem, World Federation of Diamond Bourses vice president Ernie Blom and Dubai Diamond Exchange chairman Peter Meeus.
Abbey Chikane, a KP monitor, will also address the conference.
Zimbabwe diamonds continue to dominate the international market with the KP recently reporting that the country was now the world's fifth largest diamond producer.
Zimbabwe exported 7,15 million carats of diamonds in 2011 as restrictions on exports from Marange area curbed sales.
The country has potential to satisfy more than 25 percent of global diamond demand and has targeted to produce 12 million carats in 2012.
Zimbabwe has been tipped to become the third largest diamond producer by the end of this decade. Currently, there are four diamond mining firms operating in the Chiadzwa fields, namely Marange Resources, Mbada Diamonds, Anjin and Diamond Mining Corporation.
Western countries led by the United States have been trying to block Zimbabwe from selling its diamonds as part of the sanctions they have imposed on the country.
This is in spite of the green light that the country has obtained from the global diamond watchdog, the Kimberley Process, to freely market its gems on international markets.