Govt orders Marange diamond mining firms to stop operations

GOVERNMENT on Monday given all diamond mining companies in Marange a 90-day ultimatum to remove equipment after ordering them to halt operations with immediate effect for rejecting a proposal to amalgamate the sector, Mines minister Walter Chidhakwa said after announcing that their licences had also expired.

Last March Chidhakwa said all diamond mining operations in the country would under one firm in which the state will have a 50% shareholding amid concerns of transparency and accountability in the extractive industry.

There six miners in Marange, including Anjin Investments, Diamond Mining Company, Jinan, Kusena, Marange Resources and Mbada Diamonds. The government holds 50% shareholding in all the firms.

Chidhakwa told a press conference that the miners had declined a contentious proposal to merge the mines.

“Since they no longer hold any titles, these companies were notified this morning to cease all mining activities with immediate effect and to vacate the mining areas covered by Special Grants for diamonds” Walter Chidhakwa told reporters and executives from the affected mines.

“They have been given 90 days within which to remove their equipment and other valuables. During this period, access into the premises will be by request which will be considered by the ministry of Mines and Mining Development.”

Marange diamond miners, who have been engaged in open cast operations, last year said they had hit hard rock and that
The new entity to called Zimbabwe Consolidates Diamond Company is expected to embark on underground mining operations once fully capitalised.

Gye Nyame Resources, a joint venture between the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) and Bill Minerals, represented by Ghanaian businessman William Ato Essien, had its licence revoked in 2014 due to insolvency and failure to adhere to environmental requirements.-Bernard Mpofu

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