The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has stockpiled 300,000 carats of diamonds under new regulations which compel miners to pay half of their royalties using commodities, the state-run Sunday Mail reported.
Central bank governor John Mangudya also told the Harare-based newspaper that gold reserves stood at around 350 kilograms, or around $20 million in US dollars. The value of the diamond stockpile is hard to quantify, he added.
Zimbabwe introduced regulations last year that require miners to pay half of their royalties to the government in the commodities themselves and the rest in cash, as the southern African country seeks to build its mineral reserves.
Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Co Ltd., and Murowa Diamond Ltd., which is owned by Rio Zim Ltd., are the only diamond firms operating in the country.
Mining companies that operate in Zimbabwe include units of Impala Platinum Ltd., Anglo American Platinum Ltd. and Sibanye Gold Ltd.
(By Godfrey Marawanyika, with assistance from Desmond Kumbuka)