Home » Business » Dubai Diamond Sales to Stay – President

ZIMBABWE will continue selling its diamonds through the Dubai Diamond Exchange to gain experience in the complex diamond business before starting its own auctions at home, President Mugabe has said.Speaking after a tour of the Dubai Diamond Exchange Centre in Almas Tower in the UAE capital Dubai yesterday, the President hailed the centre for transforming itself within a short period into a leading world diamond auction centre and platform with “a Third World heart”.

The Dubai Diamond Exchange was started 12 years ago by Ahmed Bin Sulayem (38), who is the executive Chairman of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, DMCC.

The centre trades in other precious minerals, including gold.

It meets between 20 to 30 percent of India’s gold needs.

Referring to the centre and its leadership, the President said: “Here we have the same Third World people with sympathies for us. Together, we are part of the KPC process. You do not have the evil heart of Europe”.

Until October last year when the EU removed its arbitrary sanctions on its diamond industry, Zimbabwe suffered sustained Western attempts at blocking the international sale of its diamonds.

The West sought to block Zimbabwe’s diamond sales by abusing the Kimberley process of diamond certification.

Zimbabwe — helped by progressive members of the Kimberly certification process — was able to ward off the threat, even causing divisions within the EU over the matter.

Added the President: “We want to be partners in trade. We want partners who regard us as human beings, partners who share our misfortunes and appreciate that we want to develop also in the same way that we appreciate their own development”.

Disclosing that Zimbabwe has barely begun exploiting its diamond wealth, the President reassured the centre of Zimbabwe’s viability as a diamond producer.

“Together with you, we want to enhance the Dubai process of selling diamonds. We haven’t gone Kimberlite mining. We are going to start that now. People have been doing alluvial mining, and also conglomerates. Yet we have lots of Kimberlite areas across the country.

“I am sure we are going to be a big diamond mining country. And so with Dubai, a Dubai that is appreciative of us, we can conduct bigger diamond auctions. Yes, we also want to conduct diamond auctions back home, but it’s Dubai for now”.

The President stressed the need for a mutually beneficial partnership with the Centre, adding: “We want to enhance your capacity as doing that will also enhance our capacity to produce and market our diamonds”.

Last month Zimbabwe conducted its maiden diamond tender in Dubai to the tune of 380 626,24 carats, earning it $29,3 million. The Dubai auction has since been hailed as holding better promise for Zimbabwe than two previous tenders held in Antwerp, Belgium, in December last year and February this year. The December sales raised a mere $9,8 million from the sale of 277 803,01 carats, at an average price of $35,41. The second Antwerp auction in February raised $70 million from 959 931 carats, at an average price of $72,96. By contrast, the average price at the Dubai auction was $76,91, marking a 5,4 percent improvement from the comparatively better second Antwerp sale.

Government got a royalty of $4,39 million from the Dubai auction.

It also emerged that the Dubai auction found Zimbabwe diamond producers better prepared for the requirements of the market. Unlike in the two Antwerp auctions, the Dubai tender saw Zimbabwean companies presenting clean and well-sorted diamonds, with companies like Mbada Diamonds realising a 20,66 percent improvement in value over its reserve prices, and the highest price per carat of $121,05. Diamonds are cleaned through a process called “deep boiling”, by which they are subjected to high temperatures to rid them of any impurities.

Marange Diamond Fields accommodates seven mining companies, four of which have been active.

Source : The Herald