The Zimbabwe government today ordered all diamond miners in the east of the country to shut down operations after they declined its proposals to nationalise the industry, adding that their operating licences had expired.
The state has sought to bring all diamond mining operations in the country under one firm in which it would hold a 50 percent shareholding after accusing the miners of failing to account for revenue from their operations.
There are eight miners in Marange, including Anjin Investments, Diamond Mining Company, Jinan, Kusena, Marange Resources and Mbada Diamonds. The government holds 50 percent shareholding in all the firms.
Mines Minister Walter Chidhakwa told a press conference that the miners had declined the state’s invitation to the new government dominated firm — a move his finance counterpart Patrick Chinamasa said earlier was necessary to bring accountability to the murky dealings in the sector — and that they had failed to renew their operating licences.
“Special grants that were issued to Anjin, DMC, Jinan, Mbada, DTZ-OGEO, RERA, Gye-Nyame, Kusena and Marange Resources in terms of section 291 of the Mines and Minerals Act (Chapter21:05) for diamonds mining have since expired. These JV companies neglected or failed to renew the special grants. Some expired as far back as 2010 and others in 2013,” said Chidhakwa told reporters and executives from the affected 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.”
Chidhakwa gave the miners 90 days to clear out their equipment and other valuable. Access to the mines during the rime will be by request.