By Tatenda Dewa | Harare Bureau |
The diamond merger that took over gem extraction in Marange, the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) has commenced operations and sales.
The consolidated company is currently riding on operations that used to belong two of the eight companies whose business government halted last year following massive leakages.
These are Marange Resources, in which government had 100 per cent, and Diamond Mining Company (DMC).
The acting chief executive officer at ZMDC, Ridge Nyashanu, recently told the mining parliamentary portfolio committee that the merger had sold some 513,00 carats valued at $21.5 million since March.
The merger is being contested in the courts by two other companies, Mbada Diamonds and Jinan Mining.
“Since production started in March, we produced 218 278 carats, 222 528 carats in April and 72 563 carats in May. To date, since inception in March, we have produced 513 364 from the two producing portals,” said Nyashanu.
Statistics presented to the mining portfolio committee show that ZCDC totalled $6.7 million in profits from the sold carats, with $1 million going to treasury and the rest being ploughed back into the company for capitalisation.
“So far from the profit that is coming from the two operations that are in production, that is $6,7 million, we are capitalising most of the companies.
“We have brought in some equipment including X-ray technology that will improve our diamond recovery. Another X-ray machine is being purchased as well. It is my understanding that $1 million has been remitted to Treasury,” said Nyashanu.
The consolidated company took over operations from Marange Resources, Mbada Diamonds, DMC; Anjin Investments, Jinan Mining, Kusena Diamonds, Rera Diamonds and Gye-Nyame Resources.
The 2016 national budget set a target of six million carats through production, marketing and sale of the Marange diamonds that would closely involve the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).
It has emerged that ZCDC was registered under the Companies Act rather than through an Act of parliament. This was revealed by Francis Gudyanga, the acting ZCDC chairperson, in oral evidence to the Mines portfolio committee during the same hearing. He said the court challenges by Mbada and Jinan had frustrated their targets for the first quarter.
President Robert Mugabe claimed in March that the companies had produced diamonds worth $15 billion but most of it was unaccounted for. Government says it has instituted an audit into the leakages. Nehanda Radio