Tanzania diamond exports hit 11-year Low

Diamond exports from the east African nation of Tanzania fell from $16.3 million in 2010 to approximately US$7.5 million in 2011, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.

The amount of carats exported dropped from over 80,000 to less than 30,000, according provisional data released by the Tanzanian Mines Ministry. 

The final data for the country's diamond industry and other mining industries will be published in the coming months.

The low levels amount to the fewest diamonds exported by Tanzania for any calendar year since the start of the third millennium.

Ally Samaje, acting commissioner for the Tanzanian Mines Ministry attributed the severe drop in diamond exports to a halt in production at the Mwandui site, while an old diamond processing plant is rehabilitated.

The dollar value of Tanzania's exports of gold grew, however, from $1.4 billion in 2010 to $1.9 billion in 2011, due to increase in the price of gold on the international market, although actual quantity of exports dropped during this time.

The quantity of gold exported may yet drop again in 2012, as two mines are scheduled to be closed this year, according to Samaje.
Source: Bloomberg Businessweek, bloomberg.com
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