Harare - The Kimberley Process monitor for Zimbabwe, Abbey Chikane, said Zimbabwe's diamond mining companies have upgraded their standards and can be regarded as models for many diamond-producing countries.
The South African-based KP monitor, who was speaking ahead of the much talked about inaugural Zimbabwe Diamond Conference 2012 scheduled for the resort town of Victoria Falls in two weeks’ time, said Zimbabwean diamond mines had reached international standards.
“As the country's Kimberley Process monitor, I have been witnessing tremendous changes and improvement in the mining landscape in the country,” Chikane said in a statement seen by Fin24.
“Today, all diamond mines in Zimbabwe have reached international standards and stand as a model for many diamond-producing countries."
Zimbabwe has more than five diamond mining companies, two of which are under United States-imposed sanctions.
Chikane is due to present a keynote address at the Zimbabwe Diamond Conference which will run from November 12 to 13.
Top leaders from diamond centres across the world, including India, Antwerp, Dubai, South Africa, Ramat Gan and New York as well as the Kimberley Process chair, Gillian Milovanovic, will be delivering speeches at the conference where 300 delegates are expected to attend.
In addition to mining ministers from South Africa, Angola, Namibia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the conference will also showcase the top leaders from Zimbabwe's own diamond mining industry.
Minister of Mines and Mining Development Obert Mpofu said the conference presented Zimbabwe with a chance to tell its story to the world.
“The moment has come to explore and unlock Zimbabwe's diamond potential together," he said.
Diamond mining has been shrouded in mystery and secrecy due to government's involvement in the mining of the gems.
Lack of transparency and accountability from diamond revenues has also cast a dark shadow on the industry.