Marange diamonds
“’ could reach 40
million carats in
next three years
 
Harare, Zimbabwe — MININGREVIEW.COM — 01 September 2010 – Zimbabwe’s diamond output from its Marange fields is expected to reach 40 million carats in the next three years, with annual government revenues calculated at around US$2 billion (R15 billion).

Following this claim by a Zimbabwe government adviser, the government revealed that it had stockpiled 4.5 million carats from its two joint venture mines in Marange since January, and that it had sold its first stones last month, after approval from global diamond industry regulator, the Kimberley Process (KP).

“We are estimated at 40 million carats per year and US$2 billion (R15 billion) per year in revenue,” said Belgian diamond expert Filip van Loere in an interview. He is advising the government on ensuring compliance with the KP.

“Zimbabwe has been propelled to the number one spot as the world’s most important player, and it will be number three in value. That is estimated to materialise within the next two to three years.”

Van Loere said Zimbabwe could surpass top diamond producers like Russia, Botswana and South Africa, but warned that a sudden increase in output on the global market could force prices down.

“The main issue for Zimbabwe is to be careful in harvesting this resource. Zimbabwe might add 20% to global trade, but then prices could go down at least 60% to 70%, so we have to be responsible. Zimbabwe should not become the main producer just for the sake of it,” van Loere said.