​Zimbabwe carries out massive nationalisation of diamond mines

Zimbabwe has announced it will merge all diamond mines into a single company, predominately owned by the Zimbabwean Government.

The move is part of the country’s push towards indigenisation and greater ‘transparency’, according to Reuters.

“We are very clear, this is a regulatory matter and we have said to them the only way you can participate in diamond mining in Zimbabwe is by being in this company,” Zimbabwean mines minister Walter Chidhawka said.

He went on to say companies that refused to merge into the new national company will be given ‘compensation’ and allowed to leave.

These diamond operations include Rio Tinto’s Murowa diamonds, which ceded majority control of the operation to the Zimbabwean Government in 2011.

The same year the government also threatened to kick out all foreign miners unless they sold a majority of their operation to the Zimbabwean government.

This is not the first time the government has sought to gain greater control of the resources within its borders.

In 2012 it announced it would not issue any new mining licences to foreign companies, partially nationalised all foreign owned mines, and increased mining licences fees between 100 to 5000 per cent depending on the mineral.

At the same time it threatened foreign operations, the government also requested Australian aid to exploit its mineral deposits.

Last year Zimbabwe saw its mining revenues fall from $456 million to $396 million year on year.

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