Indians and Emiratis set their sights on Zimbabwe's 1.8 million hectares in unexploited diamond reserves

Billionaires hailing from the Arab world and the Indian sub-continent are vying to invest in Zimbabwe's burgeoning diamond sector.

The Zimdiaspora reports that projections indicating Zimbabwe's Marange diamond fields hold up to 1.8 million hectares in unexploited reserves and expectations that these deposits could double global diamond supply in several years have drawn keen expressions of interest from parties in the Middle East and South Asia.

Godwills Masimirembwa, chairman of the Zimbabwe Mining Development Commission, stated in an interview that negotiations had already opened with potential investors, including a billionaire from Dubai and a representative of India's leading diamantries.

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem of the Dubai Multi-Commodities Centre (DMC), who enjoys close ties to the Al Maktoum royal family of the United Arab Emirates, is amongst the potential investors involved in the negotiations.

"The DMCC is a coalition of several members and quite a number have indicated that they want to invest in Zimbabwe’s diamond sector" said at the sidelines of Zimbabwe Diamond Conference 2012 recently held in Victoria Falls.

“Talks are still at an early stage, but these investors are some of the richest people in the mining sector."

Vipul Shah, chairman of India's Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) said its members were also seeking partnerships with Zimbabwe in the areas of diamond cutting and polishing.

"There are high hopes in Mumbai where big players in the cutting and polishing industry want to invest in Zimbabwe and also bring expertise to the mining sector," said Shah.