State-owned Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) plans to produce 4.1 million carats of the commodity this year from 2.8 million carats last year.

Notwithstanding the environmental challenges that affected the mining sector in the last quarter of 2018, chief among them fuel shortages, limited foreign currency and exchange rate induced inflation, the diamond producing firm managed to surpass its set target of 2.4 million carats with output of 2.8 million carats.

According to its Chief Executive Officer Dr Morris Mpofu, the company’s transition from alluvial to conglomerate-based mining on the back of investments in new machinery has also seen projections for output this year being reviewed to 4.1 million carats.

“There is that need to review the growth prospects of the sector to unlock more value in the exploration and beneficiation process so we anticipate a rise in overall output,” said Dr Mpofu.

He said the company is now set to contribute to national growth and recovery through foreign currency generation, employment creation and contribution to the fiscus.

“We hope that the success we have achieved now is what we want and the future is all about economic growth prospects for the nation,” added Dr Mpofu.

The state-owned diamond mining firm resumed diamond sales in 2018 and has so far invoiced over US$49 million from diamond tenders held in last quarter of 2018.

It is also expected to continue conducting periodic diamond tenders in 2019 to sell both its current production and the accumulated stocks.