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Zimbabwe diamond miners say quality declining

HARARE – Anjin said on Friday a fall in the quality of the diamonds at its mine in eastern Zimbabwe was causing financial problems for the company.

“Our resources have dwindled, our revenues are down. The ore we are mining we are recovering low-grade diamonds, which are not fetching much on the market,” Anjin board member Munyaradzi Machacha told a parliamentary committee.

“Right now the company is in the survival mode. We are really in serious financial problems. Our primary objective at the moment is to make sure the company survives.”

Half owned by China’s Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Group, Anjin is the biggest diamond miner in Marange.

It produced 7.8-million carats of diamonds between 2010 and 2013, Machacha said.

Human rights activists have alleged up to 200 people were killed in Marange when soldiers and police forcibly removed 20 000 small-scale miners from the area in 2008. The government denied those charges.

Diamond Mining Company of Zimbabwe also told the committee that its resources were depleting and that it was now seeking new concessions from the government. The company is jointly owned by Zimbabwe Mineral Development Corporation (ZMDC) and Dubai-based Pure Diamonds,

ZMDC is also a stakeholder in Anjin alongside China’s Anhui and Zimbabwe’s army and police.

The Marange fields span 85 000 hectares and contain large deposits of alluvial and conglomerate diamonds.

The five diamond mining companies operating there began selling diamonds in Belgium in December after the European Union removed sanctions on ZMDC.

Source – Mining weekly