(IDEX Online) - Zimbabwe, new chair of the Kimberley Process, says its diamond sector will grow to $1bn by the end of 2023.Winston Chitando (pictured), the country's mines and mining development minister, says Murowa Diamonds and the ZCDC (Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company) were expanding their operations and would help bring total output to 7m carats, up from 2m in 2018.In an interview with the Sunday Mail newspaper he said: "Other countries produce quite a lot, but their production is mature . . . whereas Zimbabwe has a fairly rapidly growing industry."It is probably experiencing the biggest growth in the diamond industry in the world."There are vast diamond reserves in the Marange diamond fields but ongoing brutality against artisanal miners and allegations of wholesale corruption have resulted in embargoes by the United States and the European Union.Zimbabwe's government is desperate to resume diamond and other sales internationally, as it battles grinding poverty among its 15m population, and faces elections in 2023.