Zimbabwe's police have recovered the bodies of three illegal diamond miners and are searching for up to seven more missing people, a week after government banned operations at the Marange diamond deposits, a spokesman told Reuters. The bodies were retrieved from a shaft in Marange owned by Diamond Mining Company, police spokeswoman Charity Charamba said. "We have had to call in our sub-aqua unit because the area is waterlogged. We understand there could be up to seven people trapped," Charamba said.
The mines minister on February 22 ordered all nine companies operating in Marange, near Mozambique, to stop mining and leave because their licenses had expired. The country's High Court on Monday allowed Mbada Diamonds, the largest miner in Marange, to return and assume control of all assets after challenging the government's ban on mining operations. A full hearing on whether Mbada can resume mining started on Wednesday and continues today (Thursday).