By Admire Machiwenyika
ZIMBABWE’s diamond stockpiles are currently pegged at 3 million carats and the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) is set to hold the fourth and final diamond auction later this year and at least 500 000 carats are expected to be offloaded.
The MMCZ General manager Mr Tongai Muzenda explained how the country managed to sell an estimated 316 000 carats at Zimbabwe’s third diamond auction for this year and a possible schedule for the fourth and final auction.
“We have sold almost every carat, though some of it below our price, prior our reserved price so we are negotiating through our clients, we hopefully come to price or just close to what we have asked. The price we want is what we have agreed between ourselves and our producers.”
“We will be holding another auction before the end year, probably end of November to the beginning of December, definitely one more before the year-end we would like to probably sell anything from 400 000 – 500 000 carats,” he explained.
Muzenda further explained that they are expecting better returns from the next sell but that all depends on the level of pricing system that will be prevailing variables within the markets.
“We are generally anticipating better returns in the future but that is subject to the level of pricing system that will be prevailing within the markets.
The country’s third diamond auction, which closed two weeks ago managed to attract 25 companies from a possible 28 companies across the world.
The auction attracted buying interest from companies from Belgium, Dubai, India, Israel, and South Africa.
Zimbabwe expects to produce 4,1 million carats of diamonds this year from 2,8 million carats last year.
During the peak of production in 2012, Zimbabwe managed to produce around 12 million carats.
Earlier this year Zimbabwe invited seven international diamond buyers to participate in a private sale of nearly two million carats.
This was after the country had postponed the sale of diamonds as authorities wanted to understand the processes and procedures involved in diamond marketing.
The private sales of diamonds are a new phenomenon these days ever since the consolidation of the diamond industry.
Basically, under a private sale, a few selected buyers are invited for the valuation of diamond parcels available for sale. Then the price that the buyer offers is then compared with the valuations that would have been pegged by the producer.
Previously, the sale of the precious gem was only done through scheduled auctions where buyers were publicly invited.
Zimbabwe is upping diamond production and negotiations are ongoing with some investors across the globe who are expected to extract the precious gem.