HARARE– Mining company DTZ-OZGEO is considering negotiating with Zimbabwe government to be given back its concession in Chimanimani in Manicaland province as terms of a contract which it entered into with the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) when its operations were stopped are yet to be fulfilled.

DTZ-OZGEO’s diamond claims were consolidated into the ZCDC, now the sole diamond miner in Zimbabwe, after having been initially excluded from the grand scheme. The ZCDC, which was formed in 2016, is owned 50 per cent by the Zimbabwe government, while companies which gave up their mining properties to the company share the balance of the equity.

DTZ-OZGEO managing director Victor Kusyla told Parliament last week that the company still had a valid licence prior to the expropriation of its concession, despite claims by the government that it had expired. He said a contract signed after they ceased operations was yet to be fulfilled.

In this contract, 60 per cent of the project was surrendered to ZCDC but there are a lot of issues which have not been followed up and we are now looking at re-negotiating with ZCDC whether they really want to fulfil the requirements of the contract or we have to be given back the project, he said through an interpreter.

According to this contract, ZCDC was supposed to settle issues with our creditors but nothing has been done. We are spending money, sometimes being dragged to courts and so forth, which was supposed to have been settled.

Kusyla said the closure of their diamond operations came as a shock, and had disrupted plans to expand the project, while equipment at the mine was also not transferred to them.

We used our own knowledge and resources to discover this project and we had future plans to expand it. It affected us so much even in our future projects in the country because when you disrupt security of tenure it is really difficult to continue with major investment projects, not only for us, he said.

There was no handover takeover because everyone was just told to leave abruptly and we still had some diamonds because we were still working on.

A processing plant they had built in Penhalonga, he said, was now lying idle.

DTZ-OZGEO is a partnership between the Development Trust of Zimbabwe (DTZ) and a Russian registered company called Econedra.