Huge diamond and gold deposits have been discovered in Mwenezi and Chiredzi in a massive boost for the country’s economy as the resources are expected to help the Government meet its target of transforming the mining sector into a US$12 billion industry by 2023.
The discovery of the minerals around the Chingwizi area at Nuanetsi Ranch and northern parts of Chikombedzi, followed an aero-magnetic survey commissioned by the Government through the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development last year.
A local firm, Aero Surv Zimbabwe, partnered a South African firm Xcalibur Airborne Geophysics, in the survey which was launched by Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando at Buffalo Range Airport last year.
Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Ezra Chadzamira said the discovery of the two minerals bodes well for the economy.
“Huge diamond deposits were discovered around the Chingwizi area in Mwenezi while gold was found in northern Chikombedzi following an aero-magnetic survey commissioned by the Government.
“The Ministry of Mines will outline the next course of action after this discovery, but we are excited as a province because this will help grow our provincial Gross Domestic Product and also help the nation achieve its target to make mining a US$12 billion industry by 2023,” said Minister Chadzamira.
Contacted for comment on the actual specifics on the discovery of the precious stones, Minister Chitando requested questions in writing but had not responded by the time of going to print.
Mwenezi and Chiredzi have always been believed to have huge resources of kimberlite diamonds and gold.
This precipitated the survey which confirmed the presence of gems and the yellow metal.
Speaking during the commissioning of the survey last year, Minister Chitando said Government wanted to exploit kimberlite diamonds in line with the new diamond policy.
Diamonds were envisaged to be the bedrock of the policy that sought to transform diamond mining by making sure the mineral contributes US$1 billion to the mining industry by 2023.
The thrust is in line with President Mnangagwa’s vision to make Zimbabwe an upper-middle-income economy by 2030.
By 2023, Government wants diamond miners to be producing 10 million carats an average of over 3 million produced in the last two years.
It is expected that once mining starts, illegal border jumping in the Lowveld into South Africa by unemployed youths would be reduced.
The development will also spur the growth of Rutenga, which has been designated as a dry port as value addition industries will be opened, tapping on the abundance of the precious stones that will be exported to earn Zimbabwe foreign currency.
The surveyed block for diamonds covered approximately 8 800km stretching over Ngundu, Rutenga and other parts of Mwenezi.
It focused on conglomerate, alluvial and kimberlite deposits.
Under the new diamond policy, only four firms, Alrosa of Russian, Ainjin of China, Murowa and the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), are allowed to extract diamonds in Zimbabwe.
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