African leaders support Zimbabwe Diamond Conference 2012
The ministry of mines of Zimbabwe will be hosting the international Zimbabwe Diamond Conference 2012 from November 12- 13 at Victoria Falls.
Several African mines ministers have confirmed their presence at the conference, viz., Martin Kabwelulu Labilo, minister of mining of the Democratic Republic of Congo; Susan Shabangu, minister of mineral resources of the Republic of South Africa, and Isak Katali, minister of mines and energy of the Republic of Namibia.
According to industry analyst and journalist Chaim Even-Zohar, last year, Africa accounted for 61 per cent of the world’s diamond production by value and 56 per cent by volume (carats). This shows that Africa’s diamond quality is high; indeed, the average African per carat value is the second highest in the world (after Canada). Based on official government statistics, the 2011 worldwide average value for global diamond output came to USD 113.66 per carat; the fifteen African producing countries averaged USD 123.10 per carat.
'In fact, comments conference organizer Prince Mupazviriho, Permanent Secretary of the Zimbabwe ministry of mines, looking at 2011, six African producers account for 98 per cent of African volume and 93 per cent of African output value. Most likely, all of these six countries will be actively represented at, or participating in, the Zimbabwe Diamond Conference 2012. It truly will be a major African diamond event.'
Mupazviriho, continued, 'The conference will enable in-depth discussion of specific African concerns. Most of the world’s alluvial mining output comes from the African continent. This type of mining is exceedingly labor intensive. The largest diamond mining company in the world, which operates mostly kimberlite operations, has a global workforce of some 12,000 workers (87 per cent of these in Africa). However, the 15 African producers may have a mn or so workers, most of these are diggers in the informal sectors. The enormous diamond industry challenges which Africa faces have never before been addressed in an African diamond conference.'
According to an article in Forbes, Zimbabwe may at some point account for some 25 per cent of global production. 'Apart from the Marange areas, there are a handful of other areas where we know diamond mining has been, or still is, taking place. In the last decades, far more sophisticated exploration techniques have been developed, which have not yet really been employed in Zimbabwe. If major mining companies would seriously explore Zimbabwe’s diamond potential, this will undoubtedly yield some exciting surprises,” predicts Even-Zohar. 'The conference will provide an opportunity for Zimbabwe’s mining and exploration experts to share their knowledge with an international audience.'