Victoria Falls — GOVERNMENT has introduced a quota system which stipulates that 10 percent of locally-produced diamonds are cut and polished in the country, President Mugabe has said. He said this while officially opening the inaugural Zimbabwe Diamond Conference that is being held under the theme,
"Unlocking Zimbabwe's Diamond Potential Together" here yesterday.
"In an endeavour to promote local diamond beneficiation, Government introduced a quota system which stipulates that 10 percent of all locally-produced diamonds are to be cut and polished locally.
"However, only 0.1 percent of diamonds produced in the country in 2011 were cut and polished locally. Measures to address this anomaly are being put in place in addition to exploring avenues to encourage investment in this area.
"Government therefore remains committed to promoting local beneficiation and value addition of Zimbabwean diamonds and the sustainable growth of the diamond downstream industry."
President Mugabe -- who is the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces -- said Government was determined to further growth of the diamond sector as evidenced by the adoption of measures to promote accelerated diamond exploration.
"To this end, an exploration company has been established and will soon be operational," he said.
The President said in view of the competitive nature and strictness of diamond trading, it was imperative that Government observed international standards attached to the mining and storage of the gems.
He said Government accelerated the formulation of policy and legislation such as the Diamond Policy and the Diamond Bill, which was still in progress to further assure the global diamond industry that it took seriously good governance in the extraction and trading of the gems.