Zimbabwean diamonds enter Europe trading floor

Zimbabwean diamonds enter Europe trading floor

HARARE, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean diamonds will be auctioned at the Antwerp World Diamond Center in Belgium starting on Wednesday this week, nearly three months after the European Union lifted sanctions against the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation.

AWDC said in a statement Tuesday that about 300,000 carats of diamonds from Zimbabwe will be traded up to Dec.16, 2013.

"Following the lifting of the EU sanctions against ZMDC in September of this year, Marange diamonds can now be traded in Antwerp.

"This opening of the market should have a highly significant and positive impact on the necessary market transparency," Antwerp said.

The world diamond trading body said it was convinced a combination of solid transparency, accountability and potentially increased mining revenues would contribute to a sustainable social and economic development of Zimbabwe.

Reports have said Zimbabwe could earn about 400 million annually from selling diamonds in Antwerp.

Wednesday's diamond sale in Europe will be the first for Zimbabwe since it started commercial mining of the Marange diamonds in 2009. Seven firms are mining the gems, most in partnership with the ZMDC.

Antwerp said the Zimbabwean gems to be auctioned will be from Marange Resources which is wholly owned by the Zimbabwe government, Diamond Mining Company, Anjin Investments, Jin'an and Kusena Diamonds.

The diamond auction, however, comes at a time when alluvial deposits, which are cheaper to extract are fast depleting in Marange and companies there are requesting for new claims.