Zimbabwe To Continue Diamond Mining After Environmental Impact Assessment

The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) has been given the official go ahead it needs in order to resume its diamond mining activities. The permission was granted by the High Court after the ZCDC was forced to undergo an environmental impact assessment certificate (EIA) process. With more and more emphasis being placed on environmentally-friendly manufacturing processes, governments could be looking to keep a closer eye on the industry.

Reports the ZCDC Didn’t Meet Regulations

Issues arose with the ZCDC when there were reports that it may not be meeting the regulations put forth by the Environmental Management Authority. The High Court took action and forced the shutdown of the company until an assessment was completed. The organization immediately ceased operations while it awaited its certificate to be given.

The mine is owned by the state and started mining in March of 2016, even though it didn’t have an EIA certificate. The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association and Marange Development Trust took ZCDC to court demanding that the EIA certificate was obtained.

Struggles on the Horizon

Even with the certificate being issued it seems that all is not smooth sailing for the ZCDC. This year, the ZCDC is expected to produce around 2.5 million karats’ worth of diamonds. The company purchased all new multi-million dollar equipment from the US in hopes that it would help the company achieve its production goals.

It seems as if even with the equipment it’s not producing enough and the state-owned company is falling short of its monthly targets. The company blames a few factors on its failure to meet the production targets – mainly its fairly sizable legal battles. Not only have there been issues regarding the certificate but there are problems with the ownership of mining claims, and the Marange people who are being displaced by the mining activities.

The struggles with the Marange people aren’t going away anytime soon, even with the ZCDC making promises it will help to build and support the community.

At this point, the ZCDC has only managed to produce 900,000 karats versus the 3.2 million karats it produced by this time last year. This significant decrease shows just how deep the problems are.

Factors to Consider When Purchasing Diamonds

For those who have plans to purchase a diamond in the near future, there are a few things to consider.

First of all, be sure you’re getting a real diamond rather than being fooled into purchasing something fake. It’s a good idea to ask for the grading report, which should come from an accredited gemological laboratory. This can be a place such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). You will also want to ask about the diamond cut, clarity, color, and karats since this will determine its value. Ask if you can see the diamond under a scope; this is how you will see internal flaws.

Diamonds are still an excellent gift, but only if you verify your purchase!