Home » Business » Diamond Firms Told of Their Fate

Government has formally informed diamond companies in Marange that only one or two of them will be left to mine, after they failed to properly account for revenue realised from their operations.

The firms have not been forthcoming with regards to honouring their obligations to the Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust.

The remaining one or two firms will operate as joint ventures with Government as it moves to improve accountability and increase revenue to Treasury.

There are seven diamond miners in Chiadzwa: Anjin Investments, Diamond Mining Company, Gye Nyame, Jinan, Kusena, Marange Resources and Mbada Diamonds.

It was not clear last night which two companies would remain, but Marange Resources could survive the chop as it is the only one wholly-owned by the Government through the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation.

The others operate as joint ventures with ZMDC.

Government has, however, rapped ZMDC for shoddy work in Marange.

Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa yesterday said he met the diamond miners and informed them that the changes were imminent.

He said Anjin Investments, Jinan and Diamond Mining Company begged for more time as their chairpersons were based abroad, and formal communication will be made to them in the second week of May.

“We have invited the mining companies to discuss policy direction and to deal with the issue of consolidating financial and human resource issues,” said Minister Chidakwa. “We also discussed legal issues and the issue of equipment.

“We are currently waiting for the Chinese (Anjin) to come because they said their chairman has to come from China and we are meeting them in the second week of May,” Minister Chidakwa said.

Government wants to model its dimaond mining operations along the Batswana lines, where the State retains a controlling stake in all miners – such as Debswana and Botash.

The reduction of miners in Marange is expected to curb leakage in the diamond sector.

Much has been expected from the vast diamond fields but Government got a pittance since the discovery of the gems in 20067.

It is alleged that mining companies have connived with some officials seconded by Government to represent its interests through ZMDC to under-declare diamond proceeds.

Government is still to ascertain the value of diamonds mined in Marange because of the opaque nature of the operations.

Mbada Diamonds has declared revenues of US$1 billion but Minister Chidakwa says the figures for other companies are still being worked out.

Last month, Minister Chidakwa said Zimbabweans were entitled to know the amount of money being accrued from their resources.

He said Zimbabweans had not got what they expected from Marange and as such it was important to streamline diamond activities to ensure transparency and accountability.

Source : The Herald