Zimbabwe to Auction Marange Diamonds This Week

Zimbabwe has scheduled an auction to sell diamonds from the Marange mine on Wednesday, as Kimberley Process (KP) monitor Abbey Chikane is due in the country to approve a portion of its stock.

Mines Minister Obert Mpofu said on Friday that the country would launch official Marange sales this week in the presence of President Robert Mugabe, The Zimbabwean reported.

He added that buyers from around the world have submitted their bids to the government for the stockpile of diamonds mined at the Marange mine. Chikane is due to arrive in Zimbabwe to certify the stones on Tuesday.

The KP agreed in July to allow Chikane to certify stones mined by Mbada Diamonds and Canadile Resources at the controversial site after May 28, 2010. While the volume of diamonds that has been mined since then, and will be available for sale, are not known, about 4.7 million carats had been mined and stockpiled from Marange before the May 28 deadline, according to a report compiled by Chikane.

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