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.
CEO of the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), Dr. Moris Mpofu, last week described plans for reversing the resource curse in the country's tumultuous diamond industry with the creation of a multinational diamond park in Mutare - Zimbabwe's fourth-largest city situated on its eastern border.
Zimbabwe's rough diamond production surged to 1.1 million carats in the first half of 2017, compared to 690,000 carats produced in the entirety of 2016 (the newspaper NewsDay last month cited 2016 production as 961,000 carats), said Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa. He attributes the sudden rise to the government's $30 million capital investment in equipment for Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), which has enabled the mining company to shift from low-vale alluvial mining to more lucrative conglomerate and kimberlite diamond mining.
Mines minister Walter Chidakwa told the Zimbabwe parliament yesterday that the Zimbabwe Diamond Mining Company (ZCDC) still has 300 million tons of diamond ore to mine in Chiadzwa, reports NewsDay. “The organisation has 300 million tons of ore containing 200 million carats all in the inferred category or ore resource classification, whose confidence level is currently about 20%,” Chidakwa said. “We are now working to improve confidence levels, and the 300 million tons comprise 20% alluvial and 80% conglomerate ores,” he said.
Zimbabwe has taken over income from all diamond mining activities in the country after injecting $80m into the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), a state-owned company mandated to run diamond mining activities, reports miningmx. The Zimbabwe Government’s Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, has now stated, “the diamonds belong to the fiscus” in a time of decline in gem mining operations throughout the country.
Zimbabwe NGO Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG) said the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) does not have the capacity to mine diamonds from kimberlite sources, reports Rough-Polished, adding that the wholly owned state company set up early last year had no equipment of its own, and would likely turn to foreign investors to develop in Tsvingwe (Penhalonga) in Manicaland Province, which is believed to hold kimberlitic diamonds. “A 50/50 joint venture is likely to be negotiated between ZCDC and its partner.
JCK's Rob Bates conducted an in-depth and personal interview with Cecilia Gardner, who recently stepped down after 18 years as president and CEO of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, a not-for-profit trade association dedicated to compliance with laws pertaining to the jewelry industry.
The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) has fired its acting chief executive Ridge Nyashanu amid reports of a dramatic plunge in production and revenue, reports the Zimbabwe Independent. The ZCDC produced about 900,000 carats last year from peak figures of 12 million carats annually. The latest firing comes a few months after the ZCDC relieved its former CEO Mark Mabhudhu of his duties in unclear circumstances. Nyashanu was replaced by Morris Mpofu, who was the head of the exchange control unit at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).
The decision to consolidate diamond mining killed the industry in Zimbabwe and government is currently re-engaging the Chinese companies that were operating in Marange to reach an amicable settlement, said Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa while addressing Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI). New Zimbabwe writes that according to the minister, the diamond mining sector is "dead" and is currently not contributing meaningfully towards the country's foreign currency earnings. "As of now the diamond sector is dead.
Mbada Diamonds could have denied Zimbabwe of millions of dollars in revenue by under-declaring its diamond sales over the years after it emerged that its average price per carat was about three times lower than that of other firms extracting gems from Chiadzwa, writes The Herald.
The latest development in a tumultuous year and a half for Zimbabwe's diamond industry has the State looking to do what the mining companies - whose mining claims were expropriated after the government’s consolidation of the firms mining in the Marange fields - reportedly failed to do, namely invest. The state-owned Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), which has little equipment of its own, says it is in discussions with local banks to secure up to $300 million worth of credit to finance the purchase of mining gear and expansion of its operations.
Zimbabwe has produced only 924,000 carats of diamonds this year from its Marange fields, or just a third of the 3.2 million carats produced over the same period last year, as court cases filed by miners against a government decision to expropriate their claims drag on.
Controversy is brewing in Namibia about who is selling their diamonds to whom, for how much, and whether the country is obtaining fair value from its precious resources. The Namibian newspaper previously raised concerns that a new government independent sales company called Namib Desert Diamonds (Namdia), which is designated to sell stones worth over an estimated US$150 million (N$2.1 billion) per year as stipulated by a 10-year agreement
Communities in the Marange diamond mining area have called on the newly-established Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) to halt operations, alleging it is worse than the previous mining firms, writes NewsDay. The government earlier this year terminated the operations of nine diamond companies following their failure to renew operating licences.
Zimbabwe's diamond production has slumped by 76 percent since the government’s consolidation of the firms mining in the Marange deposits, the Daily News reported, citing information from the country's central bank. Rough diamond output dropped to 152,475 carats in the first quarter of this year from 639,377 carats in the same period the year before.
The Zimbabwe Independent today published an opinion piece accusing the government and the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) of everything from violation of property rights to compliance failures, lack of transparency and failing to meet promised revenue targets due to the very low prices received for their diamonds.
The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) has sold about 513,000 carats of rough goods valued at about $21.5 million since March this year after taking over two diamond operations - Marange Resources and the Diamond Mining Company. A parliamentary committee heard that ZCDC made total profits of $6.7 million from the $21.5 million of sales.
Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) CEO Mark Mabhudu and Finance Director Stewart Musekiwa have been fired just months after being appointed. The two officials "allegedly misrepresented production forecasts" to government. There were also allegations of corruption and nepotism at the company, according to The Standard newspaper. The ZCDC, a merger of the companies mining in the Marange deposits, is failing to achieve the targets set for it, according to the report.
The situation in Zimbabwe's diamond mining industry following the recent forced closure of seven mining companies and the subsequent merger of their assets into the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) has gone from poor to positively chaotic, insiders say.
The group of young Zimbabweans were sent as part of an agreement between China and the Zimbabwe School of Mines as part of a bid to add value to the country's rough stones. Under the terms of the deal, 150 Zimbabweans will be sent to China over the next three years in batches of 50 per year. Zimbabwe only has just one diamond polishing center, the privately-owned Zimbabwe Diamond Technology Centre.
The newly created Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) has sold 270,000 carats of stones since its formation in February, according to a report out of the country. The company was established after the government cancelled the licenses of miners operating in the Marange diamond areas as the government sought tighter control of the diamond trade and revenues. Mines and Mining Development minister Walter Chidhakwa said ZCDC's performance had shown that government made the right decision to consolidate the mines.
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.
Channel NewsAsia interviewed Lucara Diamond CEO William Lamb, as the second largest rough diamond ever found made its debut in a world tour that started last week in Singapore.
Zimbabwe is checking Rio Tinto’s disposal of its stake in two mines in Zimbabwe, claiming that it is doing so because the shares were held offshore so it needs to see if the correct procedure was followed. Rio Tinto sold its 78% stake in the Murowa diamond mine and a 50% stake in the Sengwa coal mine last year. Both stakes were sold to RioZim, a separate, locally-listed entity that held 22% in Murowa and about half of Sengwa. Mining sources in Zimbabwe say Rio Tinto pulled out of Zimbabwe after encountering regulatory and operational hurdles, miningweekly.com reported.
Press Release: In his 92nd-birthday interview on 3 March President Mugabe stated that the diamond sector had made $15 billion but the country had only received $2 billion from it and suggested various options for reforms. This came after the Zimbabwe Mining Minister announced on the 22 February that all diamond companies must cease operations with immediate effect after months of wrangling over the government’s proposal to merge all of the companies into one amalgamated entity. "It’s been clear for many years that Zimbabwe’s diamond industry needs to be radically reformed.
Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe has been under fire ever since he justified last week the closure and nationalization of the country's diamond mines by claiming that the state has earned about $2 billion from the gems while about $15 billion was generated by the industry, thereby depriving the impoverished state $13 billion in direly needed revenue. The news media want to know why the government failed to act for years when now - after the fact - they claim to know that the companies had been siphoning off revenues for years.
Saying that existing miners had robbed the country of its wealth, President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe on Thursday said that his government would take possession of all diamond operations. “The state will now own all the diamonds in the country,” Mugabe said during a two-hour interview with state broadcaster ZBC TV. “Companies that have been mining diamonds have robbed us of our wealth.
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.
A Zimbabwean court has ruled in favor of Mbada Diamonds to allow the largest diamond mine in the Marange diamond deposits to return and assume control of all its assets, thus overturning a government order last week to the nine mining firms operating in the area to stop mining operation because their licenses had expired. Zimbabwe's High Court on Monday ruled that Mbada should have full control of its assets, Reuters reported.
The Zimbabwe government cabinet has approved the takeover of the Chiadzwa diamond fields to be run 100% by the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) after mining companies failed to renew their licences. Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa said their was no going back on the shutting down the operations of the mining companies, and said that they would not be welcome even if they made a U-turn and decided to join the consolidated company after all.
There is need to urgently come up with effective interventions to rein in chaos ignited by the order for the miners to immediately stop operations. It is not a secret that what transpired [in the chaos of years gone by] damaged the country's image ... we should not invite this upon ourselves again at a time when Zimbabwe has more pressing issues ... The U.N. has placed embargos on conflict diamonds, a tag Zimbabwe's enemies can easily place on the country if the situation in Chiadzwa is allowed to spiral out of control ...
Zimbabwe Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidakwa on Monday said all diamond mining activities in Marange and Chimanimani have to stop. He ordered the diamond miners - which are mainly partnerships between Chinese and other investors and state-owned companies - hand over the mines to the state. Mining sources have now told Fin24 the affected miners are weighing their options to respond.
At a press conference earlier today, the government of Zimbabwe has given all diamond mining companies in Marange a 90-day ultimatum to remove equipment after ordering them to halt operations with immediate effect for rejecting a proposal to consolidate the sector, Mines Minister Walter Chidhakwa said after announcing that their licences had also expired.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe turns 92 on Sunday and, apparently, has no intention of stepping down, Reuters reports. He is Africa's oldest leader and the only president Zimbabwe has known since independence in 1980. But his reluctance to step down is causing a long-running battle in his ZANU-PF party and is distracting ministers from dealing with a stagnating economy and the worst drought in a generation. "Amid this looming starvation, coupled with an economy on the ropes, no one is paying attention to this national crisis," said main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
Investors in the mining sector will soon be required to provide proof of funds for exploration before they are granted mining claims, Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa said. This comes after the realisation that some investors have not been conducting exploration on their concessions, but rather holding the blocks for speculation. “If Government is to give mining concessions, the investor must first put exploration money.
The Africa Report writes that John Mangudya, governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, has bemoaned the secrecy surrounding the country's diamond industry saying it was difficult to monitor the diamond industry, unlike other sectors such as tobacco farming whose operations were transparent. "If you look at tobacco for example, Zimbabweans grow tobacco, from rural, A1 up to A2 (category) farmers. It is marketed at the auction floors, we all know about it," Mangudya told a symposium on Zimbabwe's economic outlook for 2016. "But we don't know the same information from diamonds.
The news agency reports from the controversial diamond fields of Marange in gem-rich eastern Zimbabwe which have contributed virtually nothing to improving the lives of more than 80,000 people in the area. Due to frequent droughts, people in Marange had hoped the diamond industry would invest in reviving irrigation schemes, since national law requires mining companies to help local communities develop. Irrigation schemes in and around Marange, most constructed decades ago, are no longer operating properly as small-scale farmers cannot pay to maintain or replace aging equipment.
Kenako Diamond Processing, a diamond cleaning firm, has begun cleaning stones mined in the country in a bid to add value to gems before they are exported. The company’s managing director, Barbara Mutambanengwe, said Zimbabwe’s diamonds have been fetching lower prices because they have not been cleaned. The company is based at the offices of the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) in Harare. "Zimbabwe diamonds have a coating around them and have been fetching low prices because of that,” Mutambanengwe said.
Rough diamond analyst Paul Zimnisky takes a comprehensive look at the current and projected output for the entirety of the diamond mining industry, concluding that "2016 global diamond production by-volume is forecast to be 137 million (M) carats, or +1.3% over 2015 estimates," despite efforts by De Beers and Rio Tinto to limit global diamond supply. Stable Russian production, new mines, and production increases by Dominion Diamond Corp and Petra Diamonds in particular, he writes, will serve to offset these efforts.
The RioZim Group Limited is investing $60 million into the Murowa diamond mine over the next four years, Zimbabwe’s Chronicle newspaper reported. The mining operation has also received $6 million worth of heavy open-cast mining equipment. The news is surprising since it was reported last October that RioZim was would be closing the Murowa operation due to lower global demand and Zimbabwe's decision attempts to merge the country’s seven mines into one firm with the government to own half the shares.