The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Mining Company (ZCDC) has suffered a major blow after the High Court ordered it to immediately shut down its mining operations amid reports its activities do not meet Environmental Management Authority (EMA) regulations, writes The Zimbabwe News Live. This decision comes as part of an ongoing investigation in to the Marange alluvial diamonds operations, with the Court ordering the state-owned company to stop diamond mining in Chiadzwa with immediate effect until it has been granted an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) certificate. The Marange Development Trust (MDT) took ZCDC to court because it had been mining without a certificate.
Furthermore, the MDT argues that people are living in the area ZCDC is mining, posing a risk to the inhabitants and violating their rights as they wait for relocation and consultation. ZMDC reportedly argued that it should be allowed to continue mining operations pending the approval of the EIA report submitted in 2016, but Justice David Mangota ruled: "The [ZCDC] is hereby interdicted and ordered to desist from conducting any mining operations in Marange District until it has conducted an environmental impact assessment process in accordance with the law and obtained an environmental impact assessment certificate." As recently reported, ZCDC said it expects to produce 2.5 million carats of diamonds this year after acquiring millions worth of equipment.