Zimbabwe diamond producer reports sharp output drop

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Flag of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s biggest diamond producer, Murowa Mines, Thursday reported a sharp drop in output last year owing to power shortages. In a statement, the company said output dropped to 145,000 carats last year, from 240,000 carats in 2006. It also blamed the decline on poor ore grade and delays in expanding operations to new areas rich in reserves. Zimbabwe has been bedeviled by power shortages for years due to low domestic generation and lack of foreign currency to import sufficient quantities from neighbouring countries. Murowa Mines said it has had to make independent arrangements to import power from Mozambique to arrest the decline in diamond production. Zimbabwe, which runs a number of thermal and hydro-power plants, only generates 65 per cent of national power requirement and imports the balance from DR Congo, Mozambique and Zambia. Panapress

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