The biggest diamond miner in Zimbabwe said it will be able to increase production of rough gems by about 30% to 3 million carats this year thanks to improved mining methods.
Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Co.’s mines in the east of the country have so far met monthly targets of 200,000 carats, Chief Executive Officer Mark Mabhudhu said in an interview in Harare, the capital.
The company produced 2.3 million carats worth of diamonds in 2020 and mostly sold them to India and the Middle East.
Its higher production comes as the global diamond industry recovers from the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Cutting and polishing centers in India and Antwerp are replenishing supplies as sales pick up.
Zimbabwe, which also has gold and platinum, is desperate to boost mining output and foreign-exchange earnings. The country is struggling with soaring inflation, caused in large part by shortages of hard currency and a dearth of foreign investment.
ZCDC is finalizing a joint venture agreement with Russian diamond miner Alrosa PJSC, Mabhudhu said. The two sides could reach a deal by the end of the year.
“It’s progressing very well,” he said.