HomeBusiness DigestGovt Must Bring Finality to Mining Laws –– Companies

Govt Must Bring Finality to Mining Laws –– Companies

MUROWA Diamond, owned by Rio Tinto Zimbabwe, has a potential to increase production to a million carats annually, the company head Niels Kristensen said in a report.

A total of 260 000 carats of the mineral were produced during the last financial year and there is potential to increase this six fold, said Kristensen.

Murowa mine has not been affected by power outages since diamond mining is not power intensive.

This has meant that the company has not been forced to scale down on operations as was the case last year with most of the players in the sector.

“We are fortunate at Murowa that we have not had to reduce production, and hopefully the worst is behind us,” Kristensen said in the report released last week. “The diamond market is starting to recover, but it is early days and we will see how it plays out. The long term fundamentals are very strong and we are in the game for the long term.”

Mining companies have continued to argue that policymakers should bring certainty in the sector which has been dogged by problems pertaining to policy and regulations.

Diamond mining is a relatively new venture as it started at the turn of the century, but it is expected that the mineral would soon be competing with gold and platinum in terms of export receipts.

There are problems which have to be ironed out though, before the country’s diamond mining competes with other minerals.

Zimbabwe has been battling to remain within the Kimberley Process after concerns were raised about the security around the Chiyadzwa diamond fields in Manicaland where the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, a wholly government owned company, had moved in.

While there have been problems with the diamonds from Chiyadzwa, activities at Murowa have been clean.

The Kimberley Process is a government regulated protocol designed to prevent the sale of so called “conflict” diamonds which may be used to finance civil war.

Basically it is a process of certification, backed up by an audit trail, which assures potential purchasers that the diamonds in question come from a legitimate source.

Rio Tinto has a 78% interest in Murowa and diamond sales and marketing are centralised in Antwerp, with representative offices in New York and Mumbai.

Rio Tinto Diamonds is the third largest diamond producer in the world by volume. –– Staff Writer.

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