Kiyapili Sibanda, Business Reporter
THE Zimbabwe School of Mines (ZSM) has been allocated land by the Mutare City Council to construct a state-of-the-art gemology centre.
The facility will be subdivided into four sections namely the school of gemology, which will offer training courses across the value chain, the diamond manufacturing and lapidary, which will house cutting and polishing companies, jewellery blacksmith and manufacturing as well as ancillary services that will house all supporting businesses.
ZSM chief executive officer, Mr Dzingirai Tusai told Business Chronicle in an interview that the centre would be dealing with all precious minerals.
“ZSM Gemology centre is going to be built in Mutare and the Mutare City Council has allocated land to us (ZSM) for putting up the gemology centre,” he said.
“At the same time what is more interesting is that the Government through the Ministry of Finance has actually declared Mutare as a special export processing zone for gemology.
“I have to reiterate that gemology is not only diamonds because the centre is going to be dealing with all precious minerals. It will not only be dealing with cutting and polishing but all aspects of beneficiation and value addition in the gemstone industry,” said Mr Tusai.
He revealed that ZSM started negotiating for the land in mid-2016 and that most of the stakeholders were putting resources together to start the work on the centre. Mr Tusai highlighted that work on the designs for the centre has started including the park.
“Some work has already been started, the designs for the centre including the Gemology Park, which then takes other facilities those designs have actually been done and approved by the board. The topographical survey for the area has been done and approved by the board of ZSM.
“The concept layout of the master plan of the gemology centre was also done. At the moment we are at the stage where we are commissioning before the end of 2017 for the environmental impact assessment,” he said.
Mr Tusai said they chose Mutare because as an institution they were decentralising. He also said Manicaland province has the biggest volume of diamonds, which means that the centre would be closer to raw materials. Mr Tusai said the gemology centre would have the training facility, hostels and other contemporary facilities. – @Kiyaz_Cool.