THE Ministry of Mines and Mining Development says it is expecting at least 1,000 participants for the opening session of the Second Zimbabwe Diamond Conference today, making it the largest diamond industry conference ever held in the country and one of the biggest in Africa.
The theme of the conference to be held in Harare, organised by the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, is “Completing Zimbabwe’s Diamond Potential for the Future”.
In a statement, the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development permanent secretary, Francis Gudyanga, said in excess of 1,000 diamond industry members and experts were expected to participate in the opening session of the conference.
“This is, undoubtedly, going to be one of the most important international gatherings ever held in Zimbabwe.
“We’ve been delighted that all the ministers, industry organisation heads from around the world and representatives of the diamond pipeline have accepted our invitation to attend. We see this as a confirmation of the importance of Zimbabwe as the next great diamond resource,” said Gudyanga.
He added that the conference will provide a platform to share information that will help improve the country’s diamond mining sector.
“Our aim for the conference is to discuss the different aspects of the diamond sector, how we can mine in a more sophisticated and productive way, how to bring the benefits of diamond mining to a greater number of our citizens and how to not just mine but cut and polish our diamonds and work according to international standards of transparency.
“We believe this conference will produce a huge store of information for visitors about our country’s diamonds and can aid in mapping out a way forward for the benefit of our country,” he said.
Also speaking in a statement the World Diamond Council (WDC) honorary president Eli Izhakoff said the success of the industry in the country highly depends on efficient administration of natural wealth.
“Zimbabwe and Africa’s time has come, and the degree to which it’s successful will depend on how well and efficiently it manages its natural resources, including diamonds.
“I’m delighted to be part of that process and I’m greatly confident of what can be achieved,” he said.
With one of the largest diamond reserves in the world, which could see the country produce 25 percent of global alluvial diamond supply, Zimbabwe is keen to discuss how its diamonds can be mined to the benefit of its people and outside investors.
The conference will present the progress made by the country’s diamond industry following its admission as a member of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme in 2011. – BH24.