AllAfrica reports the recently formed Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) is set to improve revenue inflows into the cash-strapped government's coffers, according to Mines Minister Walter Chidhakwa. ZCDC took over operations in Marange diamond fields recently after government cancelled the permits of mining firms that were mining in the area, citing lack of transparency and investment. Chidhakwa told reporters recently that ZCDC would not wait for six months or a year to declare dividends to governments but would ensure funds were transferred to the treasury every month. "ZCDC has the instruction to transfer money into fiscus to sustain government operations as well as help the affected communities," said Chidhakwa. He said ZCDC would look at diamonds produced and sold and set aside money for running the company, exploration and development activities. The rest would then be channeled to the national treasury.
"The original idea of consolidating comes after recognition that government has not benefited from the proceeds of diamond mining in the last five years. We need to create confidence in workers and villagers. We need to remind them that we have not forgotten them," said Chidhakwa. The minister also said ZCDC would take over Russian-owned DTZ-OZGEO diamond claims in Charleswood, Chimanimani, and pay compensation for all the machinery and equipment after evaluation. He said the Russians were happy with the government consolidation process and were supportive of the policy. "We had discussions with the Russians and they were supportive of government policy and they indicated that they will not take government to court. What they want is for us to agree on the value of their assets and they are willing to sell to us and then they will look for other opportunities to invest in other sectors of the economy."