Jerusalem, Israel — MININGREVIEW.COM — 05 November 2010 – “The government of Zimbabwe has not been given approval as yet to sell diamonds recovered from its controversial Marange mine fields in the Chiadzwa area of Mutare.
Announcing this here, Boaz Hirsch “’ chairman of the Kimberley Process, which regulates the sale of conflict diamonds “’said an agreement had not yet been finalised. We hope to reach an agreement in the coming days…we are working with Zimbabwe and other countries,” he told a news conference at the conclusion of the four-day Kimberley Process meeting here.
But Zimbabwe mines and mining development minister Obert Moses Mpofu disagreed and said the country would sell diamonds from Marange immediately. “Zimbabwe will sell diamonds without any conditions,” he said. “There is no opposition to that.”
Reuters reports that the Kimberley Process may decide today whether Zimbabwe can export gems from its Marange diamond fields, according to Hirsch.
The announcement will follow discussions on Zimbabwe’s compliance with Kimberley Process demands. A report by a review commission sent to the southern African country earlier this year is being debated.
“The report has found Zimbabwe to be compliant in certain areas,” said Hirsch. “In other areas, though, full compliance has not been achieved. It is still too early to say what action may be taken,” he added.
Mpofu denied there were any remaining areas of non-compliance. “We have gone beyond the minimum requirements, even more than some other countries,” he said in an interview with Reuters. “We are happy with the Kimberley Process report, and are confident that Zimbabwe will be a major compliant player in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme,” Mpofu added.
Mpofu claimed in August that Marange was the richest diamond field found in a century, and that it had the potential to raise as much as half of Zimbabwe’s budget.”
“Zimbabwe may mine 40 million carats of diamonds annually within three years,” the state-controlled Herald newspaper reported last month, citing Mpofu. Botswana, “’ the world’s biggest diamond producer “’ expects gem production to total 24 million carats this year.