15 November 2018

Zimbabwe: Zim Courts Diamond Buyers in Belgium

Photo: The Herald
Zimbabwe's Mines minister Winston Chitando (file photo).

Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando, who is leading a Zimbabwean delegation attending Kimberly Process (KP) meetings in Belgium, yesterday visited Antwerp World Diamond Centre to court international buyers for local diamonds.

Antwerp World Diamond Centre is the world's leading diamond trading bourse.

Speaking from Brussels yesterday, Minister Chitando said they had taken advantage of the ongoing KP session to court more diamond buyers.

"Today (yesterday), we visited Antwerp and the whole idea is to ensure we get more diamond buyers participating in our auction sales," he said.

"In the last auction, we got about 27 buyers and the whole idea is we want more international buyers taking part in the sales of our precious mineral. So we have taken this opportunity to invite more buyers."

Turning to the KP meetings, Minister Chitando said the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) had been commended for its works in various communities in Zimbabwe.

"We had a very good opening session of the Kimberly Process meetings at which once again for the second time in a row, the ZCDC was complimented for the work it is doing in community outreach," he said.

"One of the topical issues under discussion is the proposal by some countries to expand the definition of conflict diamonds. This has been discussed since Monday and it's not an issue which will be finalised at this particular session."

He said the African Diamond Producers Association would meeting to come up with a common position.

The ADPA is an intergovernmental organisation that seeks to strengthen the level of influence African diamond-producing countries have on the world diamond market.

"We will be meeting after this Kimberly Process meeting to compare notes and discuss that proposal so that we can give joint input on the proposed changes on the definition of conflict diamonds," Minister Chitando said.

"We are left with two more days where we have a number of varying engagements. This has been a fruitful event as we continue to develop the mining sector and take it to a higher level."

Contrary to social media reports that Zimbabwe had a delegation of 30 people, it emerged yesterday that the country had 12 people drawn from the Ministry of Mines and Mining, ZCDC and MMCZ.

Attorney General Advocate Prince Machaya is also attending the event. Apart from these officials representing Government, civil society organisations have their own delegations.

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