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Zimbabwe’s Minister of Mines, Winston Chitando, held a press conference this week to announce that, following its one-year break, the country has resumed diamond auctions and expects to sell 1.558 million carats of diamonds over the next two months.
According to Chitando, the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company will conduct separate auctions in March and April to sell all the diamonds it has stockpiled since last year. Known as ZCDC, the state-owned corporation was created in 2016 after the consolidation of seven firms that were mining gems in the Marange diamond fields, located in the eastern part of the country. In 2017, sales were halted as the company underwent a restructuring process that, in the words of government officials, was aimed at aligning its marketing and sales framework to international standards.
But a test sale was conducted two weeks ago and, according to the minister, it was a total success. It made $829,067, was attended by buyers from European, Middle Eastern, Southeast Asian and African countries, and one single rock sold for $1,888. Seeing these results, the ZCDC is expected to host regular tenders throughout 2018.
Chitando also told reporters that the tenders will be conducted on the basis of a reserve price and that the ZCDC and the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe will work on a sales calendar to enable diamond buyers to plan in advance.