How many diamonds?

diamonds_in_handThe Chiadzwa diamond deposits are agreed to be large, but how large? Biti, in his 2010 mid-term report, said that since mid-2006 6,482,112.92 carats of diamonds had been mined, of which 1,772,846.17 carats had been sold for US$31,052,411.72, leaving 4,709,266.75 carats in stock.

We all know how little surveillance there is. When the new airstrip there becomes operational, the army, police and Zanu bigwigs will be more easily able to fly diamonds out of the country. Just what problems they will have in selling them on the formal market and how they evade them remain uncertain.

The World Diamond Council merely keep the price of diamonds up by controlling supply. Such a system can stand a certain amount of dealing outside the agreement, but above a certain scale, ‘illegal’ diamonds become a threat to the system and serious action will follow.

As more diamond discoveries are reported across the country, some have estimated that Zimbabwe has a quarter of the world’s total diamond deposits. A failed state flooding the market with that amount of stones could undermine the global diamond marketing system. The October 2010 report that a big diamond processing company wants to handle $100 million-worth of Zimbabwe diamonds would be good news if we knew government was in control and the process was fully transparent both very doubtful at the moment.

Post published in: Opinions

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