President commissions ZCDC 450TPH Conglomerate Plant



I am honoured to officiate at yet another historic day for the mining sector in general and the people of Chiadzwa, Marange in particular, as we are gathered to witness the commissioning of the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company Conglomerate Plant.

I am excited that this event marks a welcome turn of fortunes for the diamond industry in Zimbabwe. It is a sign of reassurance that the investment that Government made is creating the desired capacity required to unlock maximum diamond value and its contribution to the socio-economic development of our great country.

In pursuit of sustainable diamond mining in Zimbabwe and in line with our “Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra, Government recently approved the Diamond Policy which shall guide and promote investment in the diamond industry. This policy will go a long way in building confidence and operational capacity within the sector. Furthermore, it is also imperative for us to scale up our efforts towards value addition and beneficiation.

In line with the national vision of increasing production across all productive sectors, I am advised that ZCDC has a vision to be among the top 5 producers of rough diamonds in the world in the next 5 years with annual production of around 10 million carats per annum. Thus, the commissioning of this conglomerate crushing plant with capacity to produce around 650,000 carats per month, at full capacity augurs, well with this vision.

Let me take this opportunity to congratulate ZCDC for reaching this far. However, I will also be quick to remind the company, together with Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, that the commissioning of this plant should be the stepping stone to produce tangible results. The nation has huge expectations on the diamond sector to significantly contribute to our economic recovery and growth. You therefore have the onerous burden to deliver, in the shortest possible time.

I have been briefed that the company has been producing and is working on improving the pricing structure through various value management strategies. To this end, it is commendable that the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company has launched an online diamond bidding system in October 2018 which resonates with our ‘Ease of Doing Business’ reforms and current technological trends in the diamond industry.

Meanwhile, we remain optimistic that the company can finalize on its sales and marketing framework and resume its sales so that it starts generating the much-needed foreign currency for the nation.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen;

As outlined in the Transitional Stabilisation Programme, the mining sector is one of the main anchors of economic development in our quest to attain our national vision to be a middle income economy by 2030. We must therefore, develop modern systems and models for sustainable mining.

In that regard, we must develop robust strategies within our operations and inculcate contemporary best practice in our mining schools and faculties. I, thus, challenge stakeholders in the sector to shift their paradigms to be able to fully explore and exploit our vast mineral resources.

In order to achieve a common goal of sustainable livelihoods and environment protection in mining communities; there must be inter-institutional policy frameworks that enable stakeholder to make collective decisions. Relevant authorities and stakeholders must expeditiously harmonise and rationalise various taxes and levies for us to be regionally attractive. This will be a positive step towards attraction of mining investments.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen;

Mines must be seen as support mechanisms for all the development in the areas in which they operate through infrastructure development and job creation. Similarly, sustainable exploitation of our diamonds demand that the social pillar expectations be addressed.

I applaud ZCDC that despite numerous challenges being faced by the company, they managed to register its commitment towards community development within the short tenure of existence. These include various initiatives, chief among them being the contribution towards the Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust.

Equally important is the need to promote rural industry system in line with our quest to bridge the urban-rural development gap. We must enhance the skills, knowledge of local people and establish viable business ventures created out of the mining activities in the area.

I therefore urge all mining companies to engage in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) which triggers development and self-reliance among communities around which they operate. Let us move from a welfaristic approach of Corporate Social Responsibility to activities which lead to genuine empowerment and wealth creation

Distinguished Guests;

Transparency, accountability, honesty and integrity are indispensable values for stakeholders in the diamond sector. I am fully aware of the immense susceptibility to theft and corruption by those in the industry. The Second Republic will not broker or condone any acts of corruption or misappropriation of resources that should benefit all the people of our country. We are the more wiser now and perpetrators will be dealt with severely.

In conclusion, we congratulate ZCDC for the milestone achievement and are confident that this new Conglomerate Plant will increase your productive potential and set the company on a new growth trajectory. My Government remains ready to support your operations to ensure that the diamond mining sector plays its part towards economic development and attainment of Vision 2030.

With these remarks, it is now my singular honour and privilege to declare the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company Conglomerate Plant officially commissioned.

God bless you all!

God bless Zimbabwe!

I thank you