By Daniel Shane
EU lifted sanctions on Marange diamonds in October last year
Zimbabwe’s government had said it will go ahead with plans to sell diamonds from its eastern Marange fields in Dubai from March, following the lifting of European Union sanctions.
Stones from the Marange, thought to be one of the world’s biggest diamond finds for more than a century, have been controversial amid allegations of use of forced labour and embezzlement by the country’s military.
Following lobbying by the diamond industry, the EU in October 2013 agreed to lift sanctions on diamonds from Marange.
An auction of 958,000 carats of Marange diamonds is currently taking place in Antwerp.
“The intention is not to sell only in Antwerp, the next sale will be in Dubai and we intend to go to Dubai in March,” Zimbabwe mines minister Walter Chidakwa said in Harare, according to Bloomberg. “Shanghai will be next.”
Dubai has become a major regional diamond trading hub in recent years, with around $39bn worth of stones estimated to have been traded through the Dubai Diamond Exchange in 2011.