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Zimbabwe turns up heat on diamond miners

ZIMBABWE, Harare – Zimbabwe’s cash-strapped government is turning the heat on its diamond miners in the controversial Marange diamond fields.

It says they must start underground mining if they want to retain their licenses.

Mining firms in Marange have complained that diamonds have run out there but a minister in President Robert Mugabe’s government says they must no longer concentrate on alluvial deposits.

At the start Zimbabwe’s Marange diamonds were alluvial locals told stories of being able to scoop them up with little digging.

But those surface deposits are running out and the seven mining firms currently operating in Marange have used that to explain why they’ve not been remitting much in tax.

Mines Minister Walter Chidakwa told the Sunday Mail today that the firms must now also invest in expensive underground mining operations or they’ll be thrown out of Marange.

Last year the seven Marange mining firms some of them linked to Chinese firms, the military and ruling party officials only paid 200 million US in tax.

Source – EWN