Govt explores new diamond fields

07 Mar, 2017 - 00:03 0 Views
Govt explores new diamond fields

The Herald

Abigail Mawonde Herald Correspondent
GOVERNMENT, through the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company, has expanded diamond exploration to other parts of Manicaland to include Mutasa and Mutambara districts.

The ZCDC has since contracted the Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre (SIRDC) to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment for the two districts.

“Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company intends to carry out diamond exploration in Penhalonga, Mutasa District in Manicaland Province,” reads a notice released by the ZCDC recently.

“According to the Environmental Management Act (Cap 20:27), this development requires that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) be carried out. As such ZCDC contracted the Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre (SIRDC) to conduct an EIA study for the diamond exploration project,” said the ZCDC in a notice.

Another notice also indicated that ZCDC intended to explore for diamonds “in Mutambara and Martin Forest Land in Chimanimani district”.

“This public notice serves to inform all interested and affected stakeholders to submit their views, concerns and comments on the above-mentioned projects,” reads the notice.

For Penhalonga diamond exploration, the public has been given a March 23, 2017 deadline to express their views and March 30, 2017 for the Chimanimani exploration project.

The ZCDC is currently mining alluvial diamonds at Chiadzwa in Manicaland Province.

Diamond output at Chiadzwa has, however, been on the decline.

Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa told a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy in December last year that production had fallen by 62 percent to 924 388 carats since January (2016).

He attributed the decline to court cases filed by evicted miners resisting Government’s decision to consolidate the sector.

Diamond production reached 3,2 million carats in 2015.

The ZCDC recently announced it was acquiring equipment worth $30 million from Belarus to enable it to process kimberlite diamonds.

This is being done under a local facility arranged by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the project/equipment is earmarked for upgrading and redesigning mining operations.

The new equipment will enable the company to process kimberlite diamonds.

ZCDC is using equipment designed for alluvial diamonds at Marange.

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