Maputo seeks Kimberley Process stamp of approval to export clean diamonds

In the wake of new diamond finds earlier this year Mozambique entertains high hopes of being able to export the gems and wants to join the Kimberley Process certification organisation.

Mozambique’s government, which has applied for admission, hopes to make progress in that direction by the time the next plenary session of the Process takes place in Dubai between 13 and 17 November.

Mozambique’s immediate goal is, of course, to start exporting the country’s gems. Some headway has already been made.

An agency to supervise and regulate diamond mining operations has been put in place and a unit to apply the Kimberley Process in Mozambique is being set up.

Elsewhere, officials at the mines ministry have received training provided by Belgian, Angolan and Namibian experts.

However, the smuggling of diamonds from neighboring Zimbabwe is now in full swing. In March, 2014, the customs chief at the main crossing point on Mozambique’s border at Machipanda, Aristides Bakar, was fired for his alleged involvement in the smuggling of diamonds from Zimbabwe, and especially from the Chiadzwa diamond mines. Hence the need for a traceability system.

That requirement is all the stronger because discoveries seem to be multiplying by the day. In July the mines ministry confirmed that large amounts of diamonds were turning up in Massangena district in Gaza Province in the south of the country.

However, exploration is also proceeding in seven out of the 11 other Mozambican provinces, namely Inhambane, Manica, Maputo, Niassa, Tete, Zambézia and Sofala.

In 2015, the Australian firm Mustang Resources found gems at the confluence of the Save and Runde rivers near the border with Zimbabwe.

In the same area, another Australian concern, OGI, listed on the ASX and formerly named Golden Gate Petroleum, acquired a stake in a local explorer, Save River Diamonds.

In all, 34 companies are currently engaged in exploration, among them Geominas, M’panda, Manica Land Mining, Metalmoz, Monte Binga, SIVAS, Sociedade de Exploracao de Gemas e de Pedras Preciosas and Zambeze Exploracoes (Zamex).

Source: Africa Intelligence

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