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Zimbabwe vows to double diamond production in 2013

Published on Jan 30, 2013 6:12 AM

HARARE (AFP) - Zimbabwe sold almost US$685 million (S$845.5 million) worth of diamonds last year and wants to more than double output from the country's controversial gem fields this year, a top mining official told AFP on Tuesday.

"We got US$684.5 million from diamond exports in 2012," Goodwills Masimirembwa, chairman of the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) said.

Mr Masimirembwa said Zimbabwe hopes to increase exports this year to 16.7 million carats from the eight million carats sold in 2012. He accused the United States of blocking Zimbabwe's diamond sales globally by issuing threats to potential buyers.

"Last year sanctions (against Zimbabwe trading companies) were biting. The US threatened purchasers of Zimbabwe diamonds which resulted in low diamond sales in countries like India that normally buy from us," Mr Masimirembwa said.

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