diamonds 03.08.10.jpgGovernment has been urged to compliment local investors in the value addition of the country’s diamonds through the establishment of cutting and polishing colleges if the local economy is to derive any meaningful benefits from the mining of the gems.

This was said by the head of the country’s sole diamond education college, the Zimbabwe Diamond Education Centre, Mr Stephen Muchenje.

Mr Muchenje said the establishment of local diamond education centres by individual investors or in partnership with government would cut costs and translate to direct beneficiation to the fiscus.

“Skills acquired will be retained with the money generated from the value addition also being channelled to the national fiscus,” said Mr Muchenje.          

Zimbabwe’s diamond industry has the potential to transform the country’s economy if resources are channelled towards value addition of the gems.

To date, over 75 companies have been licensed to add value to the country’s diamonds.

However, most of the personnel in the establishments are foreigners who in turn repatriate the money to their homelands.

The Zimbabwe Diamond Education Centre was commissioned in July last year in a bid to equip locals with relevant skills in diamond evaluation, grading, cutting and polishing.

Currently, it has an enrolment of 25 students who are set to graduate in June this year.