By ZBC Reporter
Government’s thrust to promote value addition and beneficiation is bearing fruit with a Gemmology centre being constructed at Fern Valley in Mutare expected to be complete by next month.
In its quest to achieve targets set under Vision 2030, government is spearheading construction of a gemology centre in Mutare, to promote value addition and beneficiation of the country’s precious stones.
In an interview with ZBC News, Manicaland Provincial Public Works Director Engineer Tendai Chiwanza revealed that phase one of the project is almost complete after the injection of 67 million Zimbabwe dollars.
“Phase one of Gemmology centre will to be completed by mid-February this year and it is 51 percent to complete. The phase 1 comprises of the perimeter fence, security fence, Brick wall, gate house. We have drilled 2 boreholes in the first phase and installed 2 water tanks. For now, we are happy that we have most of the materials that we needed. Cement was one of them. The steel that we need for the gatehouse was supplied in December and we are ready to complete phase one without drawbacks. A budget of 67 million Zimbabwe dollars was set for phase one,” he said.
The project also meets government expectations as alluded to by Manicaland Secretary for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Mr Edgars Seenza.
“We are happy with the progress that is being made. Phase 2 will start with the construction of the school of mines. Shortage of cement has been hampering progress. If cement supply remains consisted, we will not have any challenges. We are now mobilising funds for the construction of school of mines under phase two. We hope government will honour its pledge to fund the project timeously, “ said Seenza.
Value addition and beneficiation of precious stones has been cited as the solution to the economic challenges facing mineral rich developing countries such as Zimbabwe, with construction of the gemology centre expected to feed into the diamond cutting and polishing value chain.
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