via Diamond mine workers down tools January 4, 2014 by Kenneth Nyangani NewsDay
AT LEAST 200 workers at a Chiadzwa-based Chinese diamond mining firm, Jinan Mining, allegedly downed their tools yesterday demanding their outstanding salaries for the past two months.
Workers committee chairman Francis Matinyarare confirmed the industrial action yesterday.
“While we don’t condone this sit-in being engaged by the workers, we deeply understand the anxiety within the workforce, because we are also part of that workforce being affected,” Matinyarare said.
“What we are saying is that we should sit down with the company management so that we can chart the way forward pertaining to payment of our salaries and we are expecting to know exactly when we are going to receive our salaries.”
This comes hardly a month after the diamond miner retrenched 30 contract workers citing viability problems.
Already, the firm has shut down its mining sites in Chishingwe because of huge costs involved in underground diamond mining.
The mine management could not be reached for comment as they were reportedly in a meeting.
Last month, diamond mining companies operating in Chiadzwa told visiting Mines minister Walter Chidhakwa that they had hit a hard rock and that alluvial deposits of the precious stone were fast running out, while extracting deep conglomerate gems was not commercially viable.
However, Chidhakwa told the miners to balance alluvial and conglomerate operations.
There are several companies licensed to mine diamonds in Chiadzwa including Mbada Diamonds, Marange Resources, Anjin Investments, Diamond Mining Company, Jinan, Rera, Kusena and Gye Nyame.