Zimbabwe Sells 500,000 Carats of Marange Rough

140 95 Rapaport News

RAPAPORT… The Zimbabwe government sold approximately 500,000 carats of diamonds at the second tender of goods from the Marange mine held over this past weekend, sources close to the sale told Rapaport News. The diamonds were sold to six clients, including one from Antwerp and others from India and Dubai. The sale took place between September 9 and September 13. 

Government spokespersons have  previously said that the details of its diamond sales will not be disclosed.

A total of approximately 1.6 million carats of diamonds have been officially sold since the Kimberley Process  (KP) approved the sale and exportation of diamonds from the controversial mine in July. The first tender saw 900,000 carats from Mbada Diamonds and 200,000 carats from Canadile Miners sell for approximately $30 million in August, or an average price of about $27 per carat.

The source confirmed that around the same average per-carat value was achieved at the September sale so that the total sales value stood in the region of $13.5 million. The sale included goods from Mbada and Canadile that were mined between August 1 and September 6.

The next sale is expected to take place in October, but an exact date still has to be agreed upon by the KP’s working group, which monitors the sales.

The KP also has yet to approve a stockpile of approximately 4.7 million carats of diamonds mined at Marange prior to May 28, 2010. The stockpile has an estimated value of $141 million and an average per-carat price of $30, indicating that reports that the government hopes to raise around $2 billion from these goods represent gross exaggerations.

Auditing firm Ernst & Young has submitted its forensic audit of the stockpile to reconcile the country’s production and sales records between 2007, when the government took control of the mine, and November 2009, when it forged partnerships with Mbada and Canadile to operate the mines. The group is expected to discuss the report this week.

The state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) shares a 50 percent stake in the mining concessions held by Mbada and Canadile. The U.S. government has sanctioned ZMDC.

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