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Marange Diamonds To Generate $2 Billion Annually: Mpofu

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Marange Diamonds To Generate $2 Billion Annually: Mpofu

Harare, November 02, 2011 - Mines and Mining Development Minister, Obert Mpofu says Zimbabwe will earn over US $2 billion from diamond sales after the Kimberley Process meeting approved the sale of the controversial Marange diamonds.


Briefing journalists, Mpofu said Zimbabwe will shock and shake the world with diamond proceeds from Marange.

“We are going to unleash our worthiness to the world. Zimbabwe won’t be begging to anyone,” Mpofu said.
 
"Our current diamond production is estimated by volume, to be in excess of 25 % of the world production, and going by the values realised to date per carat, Zimbabwe is set to earn in excess of USD$2 billion annually in gross revenues."

Mpofu further stated that his ministry was pleased to be championing Zimbabwe’s economic recovery project.

“The ministry has the pleasure that it is ready to lead and champion the economic recovery of this country through a robust, dynamic and aggressive policy to grow mining sector in Zimbabwe whose growth is currently bullish and set to contribute in excess of 50% of our GDP,” Mpofu said.

Mpofu castigated other members of the KP for denying the country to sale its diamonds saying their reasons were driven by politics.

"For a long time, our sovereign rights to trade our diamonds freely were unjustifiably denied because of the abuse of the consensus and decision making mechanism of the Kimberley Process and the politicisation of the Kimberley Process by participants with hostile foreign policies on Zimbabwe," Mpofu added.

"It has been a long time coming, the determination and the resolve of Zimbabwe to assert its sovereign rights to its mineral wealth, although initially met with a lot of resistance, have finally yielded this victory."

Mpofu was flanked by Youth and Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere, Attorney General Johannes Tomana, Zanu-PF official Christopher Mutsvangwa and senior mines ministry officials at the press conference.

Zimbabwe's discovery of alluvial diamonds in the eastern part of the country next to Mozambique led to a diamond rush by small scale miners who were forcibly removed by police and members of the country's security forces. Human rights organisations have said the small scale miners were killed and beaten in the process before the army secured the area.

The rights organisations have also said that thousands of families that were forcibly moved from the Marange area to pave way for mining companies to resume mining.
 
Families that were moved despite being promised compensation are yet to be compensated and have not benefited from alluvial stones although the companies in the area have already sold diamonds.
 
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) has said diamond revenue which was supposed to be submitted to the fiscus has not been accounted for raising questions of where the money is going.
 

Eddie Cross a Member of Parliament (MP) from the MDC-T raised a motion in the House of Assembly calling for the nationalisation of the Marange diamonds saying the country has not been benefitting fully from diamond sales.

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