Home » Governance » Diamond Park to Open Soon – Chidhakwa

Government is establishing a diamond park in Harare for local companies to cut and polish gems, and also produce finished products, Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa has said.In an interview during a tour of Kasukabiya Minerals Resources, a venture of 67 women mining gold in Guruve in Mashonaland Central yesterday, Minister Chidhakwa said the diamond park would open in the next few weeks. “In the diamond park, we expect companies to clean, sort, cut and polish all diamonds that will be airlifted from Chiadzwa,” he said.

Minister Chidhakwa said after sorting, at least 10 percent of rough and industrial diamonds would be cut and polished, while the remainder would be sold to foreign buyers.

“The park will be very secure as the diamonds will be handled at one place,” he said.

Minister Chidhakwa said at least 27 companies had so far been registered and had the equipment for cutting and polishing.

“They are not operating because of the business operating conditions, the very high fees and secondly the inability to access the rough diamonds for purposes of cutting and polishing,” he said.

“So, we have by and large corrected that situation. I am expecting that on Friday (today) the Government Gazette will publish a Statutory Instrument that will create a legal framework for resumption of cutting and polishing.”

Minister Chidhakwa noted that the fee for a 10-year licence had been reduced from US$100 000 to US$20 000.

“The idea is not to make money from licensing,” he said.

“The idea is to make money from creating jobs. Government can then levy those incomes with taxes, VAT and income taxes.”

Addressing the women miners, Minister Chidhakwa said small-scale operators should be more organised and continue working hard for the country to surpass the 29 tonnes of gold it used to produced annually.

Last year, he said, the country only produced 12,5 tonnes of gold.

Minister Chidhakwa commended the women for coming up with the project, but urged them to mine using scientific methods to optimally use their equipment.

Kasukabiya Minerals Resources chairperson Mrs Constance Kunaka outlined the challenges they faced, including lack of funding, inadequate equipment and lack of expertise.

She noted that the mine produced 500g of gold in about three weeks but could dig up more if better supported.

Source : The Herald