After a nearly 12-year negotiation, the High Court of Zimbabwe has granted a default order against the Minister of Mines and Mining Development, relating to a historic parcel of 129,400-carats of rough diamonds, which will be released to AIM UK-listed Vast Resources.
The company expects to receive the signed court order in coming days, following which Vast will clean and value the diamonds for the purpose of selling through a tender.
Vast will then determine the final quality assortment of the parcel once the diamonds are in its possession.
Diamond miners in Zimbabwe are now required to pay half their royalties to the government in rough stones, 40 per cent in local currency and 10 per cent in foreign currency. The annual earnings of the mining sector have nearly doubled from US$2.7 billion in 2017 to US$5.73 billion in 2021. Projections by the Ministry of Finance show that mining earnings will reach US$7.3 billion by the end of the year, achieving 60.8% of the US$12 billion target for 2023.
According to the Zimbabwe Independent, they have obtained evidence that over US$ 20m of diamond revenues was siphoned out of the country as the state-controlled diamond sales agency fails to handle continued corruption and malpractices. In its most recent tender, the four parcels on the block were won by two companies, Diamore DMCC (3 parcels) and NRTS Diamonds Ltd (1 parcel).