The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Diamond Exports Gross U.S.$684 Million

THE country last year earned US$684,5 million from diamonds that were exported by the four companies operating at Chiadzwa diamond fields in Marange, figures released by the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation show.

Of the US$684,5 million, Mbada Diamonds contributed US$308,3 million followed by Anjin with US$209,9 million, Diamond Mining Corporation US$100,8 million and Marange Resources US$236 317.

This brings the total earnings from mineral exports last year to about US$2,54 billion inclusive of the US$1,86 billion that was received from other minerals that excluded diamonds. The US$1,86 billion was contained in the latest figures released by the Chamber of Mines.

The US$684 million earned from diamond exports makes the mineral the second highest earning mineral for 2012 after gold, which contributed more than a third of the total exports of US$782,7 million.

Platinum was third after a total shipments of 10 524 kilogrammes brought in US$464,5 million.

However, in terms of royalties, diamond pumped the biggest amount - US$102,7 million - into the fiscus as diamond revenue is taxed at 15 percent as opposed to the 10 percent levied on other minerals.

In addition to the royalties, diamond mines also paid out dividends to Government that other mining companies do not pay.

Apart from exports, the diamond companies received US$10,2 million from local sales to diamond and polishing companies. Diamond Mining Corporation sold a total of US$5,5 million followed by Mbada Diamonds with US$2,8 million, Anjin US$1,6 million and Marange Resources US$236 317.

ZMDC chairman Mr Godwills Masimirembwa attributed the low earnings from local sales were still very low because the local diamond cutting and polishing industry was still in its infancy.

"Our local diamond cutting and polishing industry has not grown that much. We anticipate that local sales will increase and the industry grows," he said.

Diamond output is expected to increase to 16,9 million carats in 2013 form 8 million carats in 2012, largely driven by enhanced production from the major diamond mining houses at Marange Diamond Fields.

The discovery of diamonds in Chiadzwa has put Zimbabwe on the map and has catapulted Zimbabwe into a major diamond producer in the world.

Proceeds from diamonds are expected to anchor the country's economic growth in the near future as the diamond industry continues to grow.

Diamond companies operating from Chiadzwa such as Mbada and Anjin have so far undertaken various initiatives that have made a difference in the country's economy.

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