Beneficiation
[Image Courtesy: Diamond Digest]

After furthering of beneficiation (cutting & polishing of diamond roughs at the source itself) in South Africa and Botswana, beneficiation has got further boost. Zimbabwe Diamond Technology Centre (ZDTC) is soon planning to offer cutting and polishing training in the South African region. Located near Harare’s airport region, ZDTC offers secured environment for diamond related activities including manufacturing, sorting, trading, transport and other services in Zimbabwe.

ZDTC recently acquired a USD 1 million laser technology from an Indian firm, for precision cutting and polishing of diamonds and more such machinery are expected in future. ZDTC chairman Lovemore Kurotwi signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with some southern African countries and expects diamonds from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Botswana and local diamonds to be cut and polished in Zimbabwe. Mr. Kurotwi urged Zimbabwe government to stop exporting rough diamonds for maximizing profits and value addition through local beneficiation.

As a part of De Beers’ ‘Supplier of Choice’ strategy, Sightholders are selected based on extent of local beneficiation. KGK Diamonds, an Indian diamond cutting and polishing firm, became De Beers’ 22nd local Sightholder and officially opened its diamond processing (cutting & polishing) unit in Gaborone’s Diamond Technology Park in Botswana. With an existing staff of 90 (planned to be increased to 150 in a year), KGK Diamond’s unit in Botswana expects to cut and polish USD 1.5 million worth of diamonds every month.

Whereas, the Indian central government has sanctioned INR 16 crores (USD 2.5 million) to set up Common Facility Centres (CFC) in 4 places to enable small and medium diamond processing units to take benefits of state-of-art technology and increase productivity.

Domestic beneficiation is aimed at adding value to the local diamond industry of diamond producing countries and has been getting significant boost in recent times, while giving competition to the large established processing centers including India.

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