Marange firms ask for help as diamonds dry up

via Marange firms ask for help as diamonds dry up | SW Radio Africa by Alex Bell on Friday, February 28, 2014

Diamond mining firms in the Marange region have turned to the government for help, with the alluvial deposits that caused a diamond rush in 2008 beginning to dry up.

According to the Financial Gazette, the companies are “haemorrhaging owing to the decline in output,” and have asked the ZANU PF administration to “urgently consider making available additional claims to keep them viable.”

The viability of the Chiadzwa diamond fields has been increasingly in doubt, with the alluvial deposits beginning to yield less and less in the way of profitable diamonds. The situation resulted last year in some firms retrenching workers, citing ‘viability’ challenges.

A Bloomberg news report in November quoted an official from the Chinese run Anjin firm, which announced that 190 workers (almost a quarter of its workforce) were being dismissed. Director Munyaradzi Machacha was quoted as saying that a fall in diamond prices was the main reason, along with a move from alluvial to underground mining.

That news followed the decision by another Chinese run firm in Marange, Jinan Mining, which retrenched over 30 contract workers.

The seven firms in Marange have repeatedly warned that alluvial deposits are running low, and that extracting more diamonds would mean switching to the more expensive and more technical, hard-rock mining techniques. Their latest SOS to the government is the most recent sign of the problems there.

Meanwhile Deputy President Joice Mujuru has said she is “concerned” by the lack of revenue being generated by the diamond sector, an issue that has clouded the sector since 2008. Billions of dollars are thought to have gone ‘missing’ as a result of illicit sales, smuggling and corruption.

Observers have greeted Mujuru’s ‘concerns’ with scepticism. The very wealthy Mujuru family has been implicated several times in shady deals involving natural resources in Zimbabwe and other countries. Mujuru’s late husband Solomon, for example, was named in a damning report as being a key beneficiary of the corruption at Chiadzwa.

SW Radio Africa also revealed how Mujuru’s daughter, Nyasha Del Campo, tried to set up a deal on behalf of her parents involving illegal gold from the DRC. She and her husband Pedro live in the Spanish capital Madrid and set up two companies there, allegedly with the help and financial support of the parents. The deal involved shipping about US$35 million worth of gold nuggets per month to Switzerland.


  • comment-avatar
    John Thomas 9 years ago

    This is wonderful. The diamonds have been stolen and the proceeds spent. Now the thieves want subsidies from the government. Let African Consolidated, the legitimate owner of the diamond claims, set up real mines. This way the diamonds can really contribute to our economy. If they are still prepared to do it that is after the way they have been treated.

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      This Government needs to exit ASAP. Mugabe’s reign is near it’s end. Zimbabweans, including Zanu supporters need to ask them selves is it worth it giving the Chinese so much say in our affairs? Zanu pf MP’s need to start asking themselves, when Mugabe goes who will answer to the people? The Chinese are obviously aware that their days are numbered. They are trying to position themselves to benefit no matter what. Mugabe’s speeches and interviews have said it all. He said he feels 9 years old?

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    Tongoona 9 years ago

    Our ancestral spirits were not involved when diamonds manifested. Marange iMhofu yemukono chaiyo zvino maita mazuva mangani muchikupira ma diamonds kuChina, Russia, India nepasi rese. Vatozvimbirwa nema diamonds edu isu vana vemuno tichidya nhoko dzezvironda zvekurohwa nekuuraiwa nemaChaina pamusana pema diamonds edu. The diamonds are not depleting but that our ancestors are preserving them for the children of Zimbabwe. When the diamonds manifested ZANU PF threw away our tradition and made themselves the ancestors of the land. Chinese people have aggravated our economic woes, we don’t need them, they must go back to China. If they resist this call, they will have themselves to blame when the Mhofu shows its true colours.

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      Tongoona my brother, I hope there are some out there who here what you say. I also like you believe that Zimbabwe’s wealth will be revealed when the people are appeased. That is Gods will.

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    Diamond mining in Chiadzwa was meant to be for the Zimbabweans not for the foreigners.The war was to liberate the country so that the Zimbabweans can benefit from their inheritance but the greedy indviduals in the government played their own tunes to fatten their pockets.Diamond is drying up in Chiadzwa for a specific reason but it is still thre you cannot see it.

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    Guvnor 9 years ago

    Itis not government business to subsidise underperforming companies at the expense of the taxpayer. Why should those who failed to pay taxes and publish audited statements of account now expect to benefit from the national purse?

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    But of cause the stupid Government will NOT ask these companies to account for the money they have already made from Marange’s alluvial deposits thus far.How could they? China is da boss man and ‘our dearest friend’ Where China is involved The dear leader of this Chinese Protectorate we used to call Zimbabwe ‘s tongue gets caught somewhere in his bucccal cavity.
    The Chinese know they have Bob by the balls and he will give them what they want rather than squeal when they tighten the grip round his shrivelled prunes.

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    Godonga 9 years ago

    @Lucy. Would u hav said the same about the foreign mining companies if they were Anglo-American i.e. Lonho, de Beers. Ofcourse not, in your prejudiced psych american money wol always be cleaner than chinese money.

    The Chinese gav us guns to liberate ourselves while ur Anglo-American caucasians were busy winking at Ian Smith while ignoring our cries of help. The Chinese are not fair weather friends, they hav been with us thru thickets and thorns. Mugabe is our Mao and the villagers won the war for the Chinese the same way it did for Zanu/ Zapu.

    If u ask me who to chose as a friend the Chinese or ur caucasian camellions, i would chose the Zhing Zhong.

    Bayethe Mzilikazi!

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    John Thomas 9 years ago

    The original Mzilikazi was a coward who stole and then ran away. A chameleon you might say.

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    Overman Sanatorium 9 years ago

    Cry the beloved Zimbabwe! But that doesn’t mean there are no people enjoying ill begotten wealth from the same diamonds that have run out, and walk the same streets as you who has never tasted the $$$$$$$$$ from the gemstone.

    Of course they wont feel the bumps of the mighty potholes, for they move in specially design vehicles that driving in these roads a lot of fun!

    The spirits are angry!

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    Harry 9 years ago

    Why all the commotion only now that no easy diamonds to be found.Had ACR or DEBEERS not been robbed of their legitimate holdings by these Zanu thieves,there would hav been a thriving industry on the move and treasury benefits.The Chonky Lonkys,Camel Jockeys and Wagon Burners must be praising their gods that such a stupid govt exists in Zims.Debeers are the only company with the expertise and technology to locate the kimberlitic source/s so keep scratching like barnyard fowls for that is the limit of Zanu technology.

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    Mlimo 9 years ago

    The diamonds has been greatly overrated the missing millions are in Singapore and Malaysia in the accounts and safe deposit boxes held by Mujuru and Mugabe. Like all business that zanupf touch it will fail . It is like the 5th brigade they offended the spirits in thaba ziki mambo and the spirits have dealt with many of them in horrible way. The work is not yet done as Mugabe and the master Shiri are yet to face the spirits. Their time will come. Maybe the spirits will take out the wrath of the people out on the families which is better justice.

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    Parangeta 9 years ago

    Zimbabwe is just paying for stealing the farms that the Shona’s stol;e from the M’Korokoro, who stole them drom the Zhan and so on. Yes, the spirits are indeed angry!

    Mugarbage will be gone before the cold drafts of winter blow over this, My Beloved Country, for which I CRY!