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Russia muscles in on Zimbabwe’s $5bn diamond stockpile

SW Radio Africa news reports India has raised concerns as Russia is set to join China in moves to control diamond mining in Zimbabwe, with the Federation’s state diamond group Gokhran seeking a license to mine at the controversial Chiadzwa fields. China already has two companies operating there in partnership with Zimbabwe’s state diamond firm.

Zimbabwe is set to become the world’s leading producer, with an expected volume of 40m carats per year worth some $2bn annually from the rich deposits in Chiadzwa and Marange. The troubled country, emerging from years of hyperinflation and political turmoil, is however barred from selling diamonds because of alleged human rights violations and has built up a stockpile worth $4bn–$5bn.

SW Radio Africa reports:

India has since raised its concerns that China and Russia will be monopolising the industry, with the Times of India reporting that the Surat diamond hub will be forced into relying on Russia and China for rough diamond supplies. Surat is the world’s largest diamond cutting and polishing centre, and most Zimbabwean diamonds are sent there.

The Times of India also reports:

While stalemate on the export of rough diamonds from Zimbabwe still continues, Indian diamantaires are hopeful that the intercessional meeting of Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) in Kinshasa in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) next week would reach a decision over Zimbabwe.