Zimbabwe Independent –
By Taurai Mangudhla | Oct. 28, 2022 –
THE government has announced plans to invest in several gemstone lapidaries across major trading centres starting with the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) as part of ambitions to turn the sector into a US$1-billion industry by 2030.
This is despite the industry failing to have a steady supply to the market with 1 918 kg worth US$79 529 exported in 2019 before slipping to 1 523 kg valued at US$25 036 in 2020. Lapidary relates to stone and gems and the work involved in engraving, cutting, or polishing them.
Exports slid further in volume terms to 1 386 kg in 2021, but values shot up about eight times to US$215 000 in 2020. This remains a far cry from the US$1 billion targetM MCZ executive Gay Mandara, while addressing the skills development conference for the gemology sector, recently said the mooted initiative will be housed under the MMCZ and is part of value-addition efforts to transform the gemstone industry.
A Gemstones Marketing Framework is also on the cards with a view to formalising the marketing of coloured gemstones and bringing inclusivity of small-scale miners into revenue generation for the country.