Zimbabwe’s diamond output from its major mines in the eastern part of the country has fallen to shocking levels from 12million carats a year during the peak to just less than a 1million carats a year amid reports that the government-owned Zimbabwe Consolidated Mining Development Company ZMDC is struggling to meet targets after taking over from private players early this year.
In addition to failure by the company to meet targets, it has also emerged that the diamond alluvial deposits were now exhausted, with the company now exploring ways to start underground mining of the product to boost production.
The government took over the production of the precious stones from private players after accusing private companies of pillaging resources and consequently remitting too little to treasury. Despite having secured mining equipment from Belarus, the ZMDC, the sole miner of diamonds at Marange diamond fields, is struggling to increase production to desired results.
ZMDC chief executive officer Mr Morris Mpofu conceded that production levels had slumped to shocking levels. However, he said that production is set to increase during the last quarter of this year when the company will explore underground mining.
“We have secured mining equipment and I think during the last quarter of this year we will pursue underground mining since alluvial deposits are exhausted,” said Mpofu.
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