News / Africa

Zimbabwe to Hold First Diamond Sale in Antwerp

FILE - Illegal diamonds from Zimbabwe are displayed for sale in Manica, Mozambique.
FILE - Illegal diamonds from Zimbabwe are displayed for sale in Manica, Mozambique.
Reuters
Zimbabwe will this week auction its first ever diamonds in Belgium, nearly three months after the European Union (EU) removed sanctions on the country's state mining company, an Antwerp-based diamond sector representative said on Tuesday.
 
Belgium, center of the global diamond trade, had pushed hard for the EU to lift sanctions on the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), in line with an earlier agreement.
 
ZMDC operates seven joint-venture mines in the Marange diamond fields, producing eight million carats last year and generating $685 million in exports.
 
The Antwerp World Diamond Center said in a statement that 300,000 carats of diamonds from Marange would be auctioned from Wednesday, a move which is expected to increase transparency over Zimbabwe's diamond sector.
 
“Antwerp is convinced that the combination of solid transparency, accountability and potentially increased mining revenues will contribute to a sustainable social and economic development of Zimbabwe,” the AWDC said.
 
Belgium has said lifting EU sanctions on ZMDC would increase Zimbabwe's tax revenues by $400 million a year.
 
Diamond revenues were a source of conflict in the previous coalition government formed by President Robert Mugabe and long-time opponent Morgan Tsvangirai.
 
Mines Minister Walter Chidhakwa said on Monday that companies operating in Marange had reported that alluvial diamond deposits, which are nearer the surface and cheaper to extract, were fast depleting.
 
The companies are now asking the government for new mining concessions and say it is now becoming too expensive to mine deeper into the ground.
 
The Marange diamond fields, 400 km (240 miles) east of Harare, have been a focus of controversy since 20,000 small-scale miners invaded the area in 2008 and were then forcibly removed by soldiers and police.
 
Human rights groups say up to 200 people were killed during the process, charges denied by Mugabe's government.

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs