Just last week, Zimbabwe Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa announced that diamond mining licences for companies operating in the Marange alluvial area have expired, and has now said that they risk losing their licences altogether, mainly because they failed to do exploration work. They also defaulted on their fees, failed to make significant investments in their operations and misrepresented their investments in machinery, which they actually leased. Despite miners' resistance, the government is forging ahead with its consolidation program. "The drastic fall in diamond production calls for swift action," said Chidhakwa, noting that diamond production has fallen from 15 million carats a year to 3.4 million carats in the last five years. "The companies went in and mined diamonds. They did not do exploration to establish the life of mines...This is where the issue of consolidating all the companies comes from."