Mpofu told Radio VOP on Friday in an interview that Beitbridge does not have diamonds but emeralds called aquamarine.
“Tests by our mining engineers have confirmed that there are no diamonds in Beitbridge. Villagers were only scrambling for aquamarine,” Mpofu said in an interview.
Aquamarine is a type of pale blue to green gemstone which has been used in ornamental jewelry.
Aquamarine is also described as a type of beryl, a stone which contains a mixture of beryllium, aluminum, and silicate: other beryls include emeralds, golden beryls called heliodors, and morganites, also known as rose beryls.
Fortune-seekers descended on the Pondongoma area in BeitBridge amid reports that diamonds have been discovered there.
According to reports, the diamond rush began after a Harare man, named locally as Rasim Kassim, was granted a prospector’s licence to explore for aquamarine.
Word soon went round that Kassim was in fact trying to disguise a diamond find, and since then fortune hunters have piled in to the Ponongoma area, near Zezane Mission, to dig for gemstones.
Locals put up barricades to block access to the area, while deploying a night watchman to stop diggers who are arriving in the area on bicycles, motorbikes and cars to dig for diamonds.
The diamond rush was similar to the scramble for the gemstone after its discovery in Mutare about six years ago.