Chiadzwa has to the potential to become one of the world’s largest diamond mines


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The former chief executive of Zimplats, one of the country’s largest platinum producers, told United States embassy officials that Chiadzwa had the potential to become one of the world’s biggest diamond mines.

Greg Sebborn, who was now a consultant for African Consolidated Resources which had the claims to the Marange diamonds, said on 19 November 2008 that over US$1 billion had been realised by Chiadzwa diamond sellers over the previous eight months.

The government had, however, received very little revenue. The biggest beneficiaries were insiders in President Robert Mugabe’s government.

Sebborn said central bank governor Gideon Gono had invited the chief executive of Alrosa, Russia’s biggest diamond company, and might want to sell the Russians some rights in Chiadzwa.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE1035, ZIMBABWE DIAMONDS: THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE1035

2008-11-19 14:40

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO4809

OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #1035 3241440

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 191440Z NOV 08 ZDK

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3711

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2440

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2558

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1058

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1834

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2189

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2614

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5042

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1706

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 001035

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B.WALCH

DRL FOR N. WILETT

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR E. LOKEN AND L. DOBBINS

STATE PASS TO NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/19/2018

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC ECON EMIN ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE DIAMONDS: THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING

 

REF: A. HARARE 1016

B. 07 HARARE 319

 

Classified By: Ambassador James D. McGee for reason 1.4 (d)

 

1. (C) We spoke about the Chiadzwa diamond fields on

November 19 with Greg Sebborn. Sebborn is the former CEO of

Zimplats and is currently a consultant to African

Consolidated Resources (ACR). He has good connections within

the Government of Zimbabwe (GOZ).

 

2. (C) Sebborn said Chiadzwa had the potential to be one of

the world’s largest diamond mines. During the last eight

months over USD 1 billion was realized by Chiadzwa diamond

sellers. To date, the GOZ has received little revenue;

regime insiders have been the principal beneficiaries of

diamond sales. Sebborn added that in Surat, India, where

most of the world’s diamonds are cut, over one-half now come

from Zimbabwe.

 

3. (C) Sebborn said that the CEO of ALROSA, Russia’s biggest

diamond company, will visit Harare on November 25 at the

invitation of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono.

He speculated that ALROSA would discuss with Gono the

purchase of rights to Chiadzwa.

 

4. (C) With reference to ACR’s legal claim to Chiadzwa (Ref

B), Sebborn said that ACR had received a favorable ruling in

the High Court that the GOZ was refusing to honor. For the

time being, rather than pursuing the matter legally, ACR was

trying to convince the GOZ to let it operate Chiadzwa in

exchange for a share of the profits. Sebborn opined that ACR

had not been able to strike a deal because regime insiders

are enjoying tremendous income under the status quo and are

not concerned about the government and its need for revenues.

 

McGee

 

(10 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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