AFRICANGLOBE – A Zimbabwean bank has said the Marange diamond fields will become the world’s largest diamond producer based on the region’s projected 16.9 million carats output for this year.
In its weekly economic commentary, AFRASIA Kingdom said world diamond output was expected to increase this year.
“According to Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation projections, Marange diamond fields are expected to produce 16.9 million carats in 2013, which would make the project the largest in the world in terms of carats produced annually,” the bank said.
“Zimbabwe is the fourth largest diamond producing nation in the world, and the Marange fields represent almost all of the nation’s production.”
Although, global diamond production was expected to increase, Letseng mine in Lesotho was estimated to produce stones with an average value of US$2,191 per carat, making it the world’s richest on an average per-carat basis.
“However, Letseng is only estimated to produce 85,000 carats this year, worth $186 million,” said AFRASIA Kingdom.
“Australia’s Argyle mine, while famous for producing over 90 percent of the world’s fancy pink diamonds has the lowest average value per-carat output in the world.
“Unpopular brown diamonds, most of which are classified as industrial quality, account for the majority of Argyle’s production bringing down the mines average carat value to only US$25/carat.”
Russia is presently the largest diamond-producing nation in the world with production in 2013 expected to reach more than 33 million carats worth about US$3.4 billion.
“State run diamond company ALROSA accounts for approximately 95 percent of all Russian production,” the bank added.
“After Russia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the second largest diamond-producing nation in the world.
“Artisanal and small-scale miners account for most DRC production, and a third of DRC’s diamonds are believed to be smuggled, making quantifying production very difficult.”