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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 08:12 AM

24. Antwerp Aims to Sell 12 Million Carats of Gems From Zimbabwe

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-16/antwerp-aims-to-sell-12-million-carats-of-diamonds-from-zimbabwe.html

The Antwerp World Diamond Centre wants to sell 12 million carats of diamonds from Zimbabwe this year, which would make the southern African country one of the six biggest suppliers to the Belgian-based trading group.

Zimbabwe conducted two auctions at Antwerp, in December and in February, realizing $10.5 million from sales of 279,723 carats and $70 million from 959,931 carats, according to the country’s Ministry of Mines. The center has also proposed a memorandum of understanding with the government to clean and sort the precious stones, leading to the creation of a diamond hub in the country, Chief Executive Officer Ari Epstein said in a March 13 interview in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital.

Diamonds are becoming an increasingly important source of revenue for the government after the European Union lifted sanctions on the Marange field in the east of the country on Sept. 24 last year. Zimbabwe probably mined 16.9 million carats last year, according to the Ministry of Mines, versus 8 million carats in 2011. Figures for 2012 weren’t available.

Before sanctions were lifted against the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corp., Zimbabwe sold its diamonds at an average of $47 per carat while other centers were selling at $76 a carat, Epstein said.

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