Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Diamond firms merger complete

By Dosman Mangisi

The Government of Zimbabwe has completed the merging of all diamond companies in the country into one entity – the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Corporation – which will house all diamond concessions and claims in the country.

Mines Minister Walter Chidhakwa
Mines Minister Walter Chidhakwa

Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa said on Friday that his ministry was now in the process of constituting a board of directors which will be mandated to steer the new company. There are more than nine diamond companies operating in the country with the majority mining alluvial diamonds in the Marange area.

Those located in Marange area include Marange Resources, Mbada Diamonds, Anjin Resources, Diamond Mining Company, Gyne Nyame, Kusena and Jinan. Murowa Diamond mines in Zvishavane while River Range Mines operates in Beitbridge.

“Government gave us a directive as ministry to consolidate all the diamond mining companies into one single entity and we registered the company under the name Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Corporation.

“All diamond concessions and claims will be under this company. We are in the process of listing down the board membership,” he said after touring Murowa diamond, accompanied by his deputy Fred Moyo.

Minister Chidhakwa said the merging of companies will be valued on net assets value and that will determine the shareholding structure in the company.

“What we also did is to look at the model that will guide us on the shareholding, we will do it on the basis of net asset value of the company, meaning we will find the asset value of the industry which will determine the shareholding structure of the company,” he said.

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Government will likely have 50 percent shareholding in the new company while the companies will share the remaining 50 percent.

Shareholders of companies mining in Marange might however, emerge losers as it was revealed that most of them had little or no assets and relied on hired machinery to undertake cheap open cast mine for alluvial diamonds in the area.

The companies have also come under fire for failing to honour pledges of capital they promised when they were granted licences.

Production in the area has gone down after the alluvial diamonds ran out and the companies now argue that they do not have money to mine deeper-lying kimberlites.

Minister Chidhakwa saluted Murowa Diamonds for maintaining international standards in mining of diamonds in the country. He hailed the management with the majority being Zimbabweans, for maintaining the standards that were left by Rio Tinto.

“I want to express my happiness to Murowa diamonds for maintaining international standards which I did not expect as a Minister of Mines that we have such standards in the country. I want to salute the company which is the only diamond company mining kimberlite diamonds in our country following the international standards.

“Their security, safety and production of high quality diamonds is of international standards as compared to other diamond firms mining in Manicaland,” he said.

Rio Tinto a global mining firm which used to own 78 percent of Murowa diamonds exited Zimbabwe in June after a 60 year of presence, following the disposal of its shareholding in Murowa Diamonds and Sengwa coal, a local company RioZim.

Murowa Diamond board chairman Mr Lovemore Chihota said the diamond company was willing to work with Government and other stakeholders following the merger.

“As chairman it is my responsibility to work for the betterment of our people. We at Murowa are committed to run efficient and profitable operations for the benefit of all our stakeholders. And the stakeholders are Government, our shareholders and workers. As chairman I will work to make sure those interests are looked after,” said Mr Chihota.