Zimbabwe to assume control over country’s diamond sector

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Patrick Chinamasa, finance minister, Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has taken over income from all diamond mining activities in the country after injecting $80m into the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), a state-owned company mandated to run diamond mining activities.

Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, has said that “… the diamonds belong to the fiscus” amid plummeting fortunes in gem mining operations in the country.

Zimbabwe’s earnings from diamonds between January to May 12 have plunged to $27m from $51m in the corresponding period in the previous financial year, according to figures released by the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe.

In contrast, platinum exports earned Zimbabwe around $333.5m, significantly up from the $282m in the same period last year. Gold export earnings for Zimbabwe for the period amounted to $275.7m compared to $266.5m in the 2016 comparative period January to May 12.

“There are two minerals which remain a disappointment: diamonds and coal,” Chinamasa told mining executives at an indaba in Victoria Falls on Friday. “We have capitalised the ZCDC to the tune of $80m and there is new management,” he said.

Zimbabwe merged all diamond mining companies into the ZCDC in which the state controls half of the shares. Some of the diamond miners in the Marange area had resisted this and had dragged the government to court.

“There’s a new arrangement with ZCDC that since we are now capitalising it, automatically the diamonds belong to the fiscus,” said Chinamasa.

Chinamasa said that “every [diamond] output will come to the fiscus” through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. This would “… ensure that we get maximum realisation” on the proceeds from diamond mining in the country, he said.

The state’s case has been strengthened after the government reached an agreement this month to pay one of the Marange diamond mining companies, DTZ-OZGEO, about $5.4m to take over mining concessions the Russian miner owned.

Some of the diamond miners in Zimbabwe’s Marange area included Anjin and Jinan among four others. Mines Minister Walter Chidakwa has said that the government is making arrangements with the two miners regarding the consolidation process.

6 COMMENTS

  1. And I suppose they expect foreign investment to pour into the space! Idiots! What’s the point of owning something you can’t make a profit on and can’t attract smart people to run? Hard to think Africa will ever change!

  2. I think this article is wrong. The ZCDC might have consolidated/confiscated the alluvial mining companies in the Marange Diamond Fields, but I don’t believe it has confiscated the Murowa Diamond Mine which is owned and operated by Rio Zim. There are 2 sources of diamonds in Zim.

  3. I think Jock is right. Such a pity Marange fields were discovered when they were. I expect the Zim regime would have changed years before. The benefits of Marange should have lifted Zim out of it’s hole, not been exported for Bob cronies, his ugly wife’s shopping exploits and his anti-aging trips to Asia. Maybe this is the last roll of the dice on all fronts!

    • Memory Mataranyika, who wrote the article, commented: “The consolidation into ZCDC is on diamond operations in the Marange area. Although Murowa was not part of the ZCDC, the mines minister said last year that talks would be opened to start negotiations for the consolidation of Murowa.” Memory is trying to get additional comment from the minister.

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