Zimbabwe NGO Has Zero Faith in ZCDC Diamond Mining Capacity

Mining and Exploration
19/04/2017 11:33

Zimbabwe NGO Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG) said the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) does not have the capacity to mine diamonds from kimberlite sources, reports Rough-Polished, adding that the wholly owned state company set up early last year had no equipment of its own, and would likely turn to foreign investors to develop in Tsvingwe (Penhalonga) in Manicaland Province, which is believed to hold kimberlitic diamonds. “A 50/50 joint venture is likely to be negotiated between ZCDC and its partner. This will most probably follow the Marange model where the ruling elites identified some obscure companies with whom they made secret deals that prejudiced the country of more than $15 billion,” it said. “Given the unceremonious cancellation of mining licenses of Marange diamond firms, serious diamond mining companies are unlikely going to take the Tsvingwe offer." 

In January, the ZCDC said it was in discussions with local banks to secure up to $300 million worth of credit to finance the purchase of mining gear and expansion of its operations, but CNRG appears to have zero faith in this coming to fruition. “Currently ZCDC has failed to engage in large scale diamond mining in Marange, resulting in the influx of thousands of artisanal miners who are taking advantage of the vacuum created by the companies that were pushed out.” Rough-Polished adds, "Meanwhile, the Penhalonga area had always been known for its rich gold deposits which were mined since pre-historic times. CNRG said hundreds of artisanal miners were doing gold panning throughout Penhalonga, Tsvingwe and the surrounding estates and yet none had ever stumbled on a diamond. 'This has led some to speculate that it is gold they want to mine but for some unknown reasons they do not want to reveal it now,'" the NGO said.