President Emmerson Mnangagwa has threatened to stop exports of raw minerals including diamonds so as to increase value addition and beneficiation within the mining sector.
Speaking during the commissioning of the $62 million Unki Mine smelting plant in Shurugwi yesterday, President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe is still exporting 90% of its diamonds unprocessed.
“I am happy that with regards to platinum we have taken the required steps. With regards to diamonds we still export 90 percent of our diamonds unprocessed. This should stop as we go forward. We must value-add our diamonds. The same goes for all the other minerals like chrome.
“Investments such as this go a long way in facilitating the modernisation and industrialisation agenda as our country progresses towards becoming a middle-income economy by 2030. I therefore heartily congratulate Anglo American Limited for this achievement,” said President Mnangagwa.
He added that the commissioning of the Unki smelting plant will enhance government’s efforts of value addition and beneficiation within the mining sector.
“The commissioning of this plant will enhance our efforts to beneficiate and value add our minerals. In addition, the impact of this plant will go beyond mineral extraction and processing, extending to many other sectors such as transport, equipment manufacturing, geological services, educational research, among others.
“I am confident that this plant will increase your production and set your firm on a new growth trajectory. We look forward to you breaking new ground in our quest to fully exploit this mineral resource. My government remains ready to support all your operations.” he said.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) has set a target to produce 4.1 million carats of diamonds this year compared to 2.8 million carats produced last year.
In its quest to beneficiate and add value to its diamonds, ZCDC is working to set up a gemology centre for the polishing and cutting of the precious stones in Mutare.