|The "Marange" is the name of a vast diamond field in eastern Zimbabwe. It is about the size of the German capital Berlin and in its depths huge deposits of diamonds lie waiting to be discovered. Many experts believe it to be the largest diamond field in the world. This year alone, the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) expects to extract diamonds weighing some 17 million carats.|
In terms of carats produced, the Marange field is the largest diamond producing project in the world.
|Now Zimbabwe can again sell its precious stones to buyers in Europe. In September the European Union (EU) lifted sanctions imposed on the ZMDC for its alleged involvement in acts contrary to to democracy in the southern African nation. |
The embargo on Zimbabwe's national mining corporation was imposed by the EU in the wake of brutal attacks by security forces against members of the opposition after the 2008 presidential election.
| The EU has also spoken of democratic deficits in Zimbabwe but the bloc's foreign policy spokesman Michael Mann says there have also been some small improvements.|
The EU wants to encourage Zimbabwe to undertake economic reforms so that the population as a whole also benefits from the trade in diamonds. So far, ordinary Zimbabweans have seen little of the revenue. The country's economy is in a poor state and many people do not have enough to eat. The UN World Food Program estimates that 2.2 million Zimbabweans will rely on international food aid in the coming months.