Sign up, diamond firms ordered

via Sign up, diamond firms ordered | The Herald July 28, 2015 by Conrad Mwanawashe and Tendai Mugabe

GOVERNMENT has summoned diamond mining companies to present their audited financial statements and sign up to the newly-formed mining company, the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company. The State has 50 percent shareholding in the company and private companies will share the remaining equity.

Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa, told journalists yesterday that as the majority shareholder in the company, Government had called for an Emergency General Meeting next month where the audited financial statements would be presented.

The meeting will also thrash out how the mining firms will share the 50 percent equity.

He said the EGMs with the various diamond companies would be held in the first two weeks of August.

The EGMs are part of the process to consolidate diamond mining companies into one entity.

Minister Chidhakwa said companies that were not happy with the consolidation proposal were free to cease their operations in Zimbabwe.

“I have made a strong plea to the companies, resistances here and there, uncertainty here and there. But I want to communicate that we are not stopping,” said Minister Chidhakwa.

“Where we are now is that as 50 percent shareholders through ZMDC we have a right to call for an extra ordinary general meeting. We have called for EGMs and we have invited our partners to the EGM.”

Minister Chidhakwa said the EGMs would discuss two issues that included the companies’ audited financial statements and the companies’ response to the Government’s call for consolidation.

“We want them to take a position and tell us whether as companies they will go ahead. That is the commercial route. The companies will go in and vote and come up with a position. These are commercial mechanisms,” said Minister Chidhakwa.

He added: “If any company decides not to sign up for the consolidation, Government will use the legal route. But commercial decisions by companies do not have the effect of changing Government policy. Our position is that Government has enunciated a policy and that policy is that we will have one diamond mining company in this country. And therefore if a decision by the commercial entity is that they will not participate in this one entity, then I think it will be time to bid each other farewell. We are very clear about this; we are taking not one step backwards.”

Minister Chidhakwa said although the Government had the right to use the legal route to ensure compliance, for now, it preferred to negotiate.

“At this stage, I do not want to use the legal route because we can use that route. We are now awaiting the appointment of directors for the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Mining Company. As soon as the directors are appointed, we then expect that all companies after their EGMs will come in and sign in, and those that do not want, naturally we then follow a different process all together,” said Minister Chidhakwa.

Meanwhile, Minister Chidhakwa unveiled a 13-member Foundation Committee of the Pan-African Minerals University of Science and Technology (PAMUST).

The foundation committee is chaired by the Scientific and Industrial and Development Centre (SIRDC) chief executive Professor Robson Mafoti, who would be deputised by two co-vice chairpersons Professor Francis Gudyanga, who is the Mines and Mining Development Secretary and Higher and Tertiary Education Secretary Ambassador Machivenyika Mapuranga.

PAMUST will be housed at SIRDC.

PAMUST will focus on advanced mineral exploration geology; advanced mining engineering, advanced extractive metallurgy and processing, mineral-based materials value addition and minerals business studies.

The university will offer postgraduate research programmes (Masters, PhD and post-doctoral).

Other members of the committee include Professor Godfrey Dzinomwa, Professor Spencer Kahwai, Professor Phinias Makhurane, Mr Herbert Mashanyare, Ambassador Dr Mary Muchada, Professor Levi Nyagura, Professor Samson Sibanda, Professor David Simbi and Dr Eng Michael Tumbare.

One more member will be appointed from the Defence College.