ZIMBABWE has licensed two diamond companies from China and Russia as the only foreign firms allowed to explore and mine for diamonds in the country after approving its Zimbabwe Diamond Industry Policy late last year.
President Emerson Mnangagwa has increasingly favoured Russia and China in his investment dealings as other international investors raise concerns over the slow pace of reforms, and the country’s worsening currency problems. Zimbabwe is readying the re-introduction of the Zimbabwe dollar in the next 12 months.
Mines Minister, Winston Chitando, said in an interview that De Beers and Vast Resources have not been given the green light for diamond exploration and mining.
“It is not true that those two (that De Beers and Vast) have been licensed. I don’t know where people get that. In fact, none of those two are among those licensed,” Chitando said by phone in a recent interview.
Alrosa, a state-owned Russian company, and the China’s Anjin now take their place beside RioZim and the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company – the latter mandated to own half of the shares in all new diamond mining ventures in the country – as the only miners of gems in the country.