New diamond fields have been discovered in the south of Zimbabwe, according to Zimbabwean state media, which could bring billions into the struggling economy of the country.

Deputy Mines Minister Fred Moyo says that the basin has huge potential but that funds will have to be mobilised to send experts into the area. Nevertheless, a Russian firm is reportedly already involved in a joint exploration venture.

This comes after reports that alluvial diamond deposits are running out in Chiadzwa, Zimbabwe’s richest diamond fields, which was discovered in 2006.

President Robert Mugabe’s government has promised that mining will underpin Zimbabwe’s financial recovery, and this has resulted in new legislation demanding that platinum producers in the country stop exporting raw material and build a local refinery in Zimbabwe by the end of the year.