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Mutare-based miner DTZ-OZGEO (Pvt) Limited has started exploring for diamonds in Chinyadadze area in Buhera, a company official said. The company has also extended its footprints by investing in coffee farming at one of its estates in the Vumba area.DTZ-OZGEO has also set up a diamond ore processing plant worth about US$25 million in Chimanimani.

DTZ-OZGEO deputy managing director Mr Fadzanai Mukwaya yesterday confirmed the company’s intention to mine in Buhera.

“The company is currently exploring diamonds in Chinyadadze area of Buhera with the intention to mine. We have done seam segment sampling where we will be searching kimberlite indicator minerals and so far we have received more positives for us to start mining,” he said .

The company last year indicated its intentions to extend its tentacles in the diamond mining industry by acquiring state-of-the-art 70 tonne Dense Media Separation machinery set to put the company’s processing capacity to 50 000 carats per month.

He said despite the cost, DTZ-OZGEO continues to do explorations and is rolling out strategies on how to mine profitably in Zimbabwe.

“Despite the suspension of gold operations in Penhalonga, we have not stopped operating but our venture into diamond mining was a way of diversifying business,” he said.

In an interview with The Herald Business DTZ -OZGEO executive director Mr Wellington Chando said the company has begun investing in agriculture in the Vumba area.

He said Vumba coffee farm is sitting at around 600 hectares, big enough to support the local coffee industry.

“We stopped operations four years ago but we have since resumed with rehabilitations of the farm already taking place. At the moment operations are currently taking place on 40 hectares.

“Apart from coffee, we grow granadillas, maize and Eucalyptus trees,” said Mr Chando. “Coffee used to be one of Zimbabwe’s largest foreign currency earners along with tobacco, cotton and sugar. We hope to produce about 2 000 tonnes of coffee and aocate for the revival of the sector.”

He said an initial investment of about $500 000 has been made towards agriculture.

DTZ-OZGEO is a joint-venture mining firm established in 1994 and jointly owned by Development Trust of Zimbabwe established by the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo and Russian company Econedra Limited.

Source : The Herald