MINES and Mining Development Minister, Walter Chidhakwa, has appointed four members of an eight member board for the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) — a merger of diamond firms in the country.
The companies operating in Marange namely Mbada Diamonds, Anjin, Marange Resources, Gye Nyame, Kusena, Jinan and the Diamond Mining Company, are set to merge into one entity where the government will hold 50 percent shares.
River Ranch Mines operating in Beitbridge and Zvishavane-based, Murowa Diamonds, which is now owned by Rio Zim following the exit of Rio Tinto last year after a 60 year presence in the country, will also merge with diamond companies in Marange.
Minister Chidhakwa could not reveal the identity of the four board members preferring to announce the full board at the end of this month.
“We’ve now started the process legally of bringing all the diamond concessions into the ZCDC. We’ve four board members now authorised and we’re still finalising another three as well as the chairman and an announcement of the board will be done in due course when all the paper work has been completed,” he said.
The Minister said as a 50 percent shareholder in the diamond company the government has already started the process of capitalising the company through the acquisition of mining equipment, which will be purchased mainly from Belarus.
“After discussing with the Minister of Finance (Patrick Chinamasa) and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor (John Mangudya), we’ve started a process of acquiring equipment from Belarus for the purposes of capitalizing the new company.
“The contracts have already been signed and transmitted back to the suppliers of the mining equipment. I will be travelling to Belarus to inspect the equipment but you’ll appreciate that Belarus produces certain equipment that we require but other pieces of processing equipment will have to come from other countries,” Chidhakwa said.
The government mooted plans to consolidate diamond companies to enhance transparency and accountability in the diamond sector, which has been characterised by opaque trade of the precious stone by some companies operating in Marange.
Minister Chinamasa is on record saying the government is not receiving meaningful dividends from diamond mining companies in Marange.