Zimbabwe Government Seizure of Mines Illegal

The PDP (People’s Democratic Party) of Zimbabwe declares the Zimbabwe Government seizure of Diamond Mines to be illegal. The Government decision to shut down 8 diamond Companies in Marange, describing the move as “illegal and immoral” in the meanwhile the firms have vowed to sue the State.

The Mines minister, Walter Chidhakwa, has ordered the companies to stop their operations and gave them 90 days to withdraw all their equipment, stating that they had resisted government plans to consolidate operations into one state-dominated mining company.

And as the companies started winding down their operations following the order, penners reportedly massed into the area, Ordered the companies to shut looting equipment and household goods.

PDP, led by former finance minister Tendai Biti, conceded that the companies had not brought any meaningful benefits to the country.

“It is common cause that the companies operating in Marange have been responsible for large scale looting of our national resources and thus depriving Zimbabweans of the much needed resources for development, they did so with the express blessing of the same government which today is crying foul,” the party stated in a statement.

“Since 2009, the nine companies operating in the Marange diamond fields have been exporting diamonds collectively worth US$2 billion annually but the government which had 50% stake in these firms ironically received less than US$300 million in revenue. This is criminal and unacceptable.

“As PDP we are further aware that the companies also committed shocking human rights atrocities on the poor people of Marange, murdering them in cold blood, razing down their houses and damaging their environment without compensation.”

The party however said the forced closure was illegal.

“As the PDP, we also believe in the rule of law which demands that there be fairness and just administrative conduct in respect of the principal of the right to be heard,” the party stated.

Zimbabwe Marange Fields Production is Falling

Manicaland Province Marange Fields have been known to be some of the largest source of diamonds in the world in the past few years. In 2015, Zimbabwe’s diamond production is expected to drop from 5.9 Million CTS to 3.5 Million.

Three new mines started operations last year in the Marange Fields, however, the increase in supply has not been steady, as these mining operations are expected to have a lesser impact, due to the fact that these are not alluvial mines.

Zimbabwe had a tremendous supply of alluvial diamonds, however, these alluvial diamonds have been mined extensively, and alluvial supply is running short. Therefore minors now have to dig for rough stones underground instead, making it more difficult and more expensive to mine for rough diamonds.

This is the number one reason for the decrease in production in the Marange Fields. In order to optimize the management and production of these mines, the Government is in the process of merging five mining companies into one large corporation.