Zimbabwe to face legal opposition to diamond acquisitions

The Zimbabwean Government will face legal action over the forced acquisition of diamond mines in the Marange region.

The CEO of Diamond Mining Company (DMC), Ramzi Malik, has stated that the joint venture between DMC and the Zimbabwean Government stipulated that mining licence renewal was the responsibility of the government through state mining arm Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC).

In an interview with Reuters, Malik said he was sure DMC would go to court over the mine seizure in the government did not reconsider its position.

"If you are removing the concession it means you are in breach," Malik said.

Earlier this week officials from Mbada Diamonds and Anjin Investments said they were attempting to persuade the government to reconsider the new policy, however Mines and Mining Development minister Walter Chidhakwa said Harare’s decision was not negotiable.

Chidhakwa said that police would be deployed to protect the mines, however Malik said that people had broken into the DMC mine and stolen solar panels, batteries and office equipment, as well as fuel from generators and mobile plant.

"The value is in thousands of dollars. There is going to be a lot of loss, a lot," Malik said.

Malik also stated that the mine has no diamond stocks left at the time of closure.

Last month Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe government John Mangudya complained about the lack of transparency in the diamond companies, and that the government did not know about their gem production volumes or export figures.

The Zimbabwean government already owned 50 per cent of all mining companies operating in the Marange, with private operators responsible for marketing and general operations.

Chidhakwa said the companies had 90 days to remove their equipment and assets from the mines.

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