RAPAPORT… Zimbabwe’s secretary for Mines and Mining Development, Thankful Musukutwa, halted a diamond auction yesterday in Harare because the proper procedures had not been followed to sell the rough stones, according to government-run newspaper The Herald. On Tuesday, Mbada Diamonds, a joint venture between the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation and Grandwell Holdings, announced that it would be auctioning 300,000 carats at its new facility at Harare International Airport and that buyers from the U.S., Europe and Asia had already arrived to buy the stones. But just as the auction was getting underway, news surfaced that neither the Kimberley Process (KP) nor Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) had been made aware of the auction.
The Herald quoted Musukutwa as saying, “The due process for selling diamonds produced in Zimbabwe involves the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe, ZRP Minerals Unit and Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, where diamonds from Marange are concerned. In the case of Mbada Diamonds, this process is yet to happen. The government of Zimbabwe observes and is committed to the administrative decision of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme [KPCS] adopted at Swakopmund, Namibia during the November 2009 plenary meeting,” he said.
He added that rough diamond sales and exports could not be transacted by Mbada Diamonds until all government regulations and KP requirements had been fulfilled.
According to The Herald, Mbada Diamonds reiterated that it was ready to sell about 600,000 carats from the Chiadzwa diamond fields and had intended to offer these stones in two separate auctions. The newspaper stated that the company was complying with government terms and that the diamond certification process had begun while company representatives awaited the arrival of a KP monitor.