London-listed Vast Resources has teamed up with the local community in the diamond-rich Chiadzwa area to exploit the resource in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando said on Friday.
He told reporters the London-based firm had formed a joint venture business with the Chiadzwa community, called Katanga, and this company will next week sign a partnership deal with ZCDC to mine diamonds.
“There will be an agreement which will be signed towards the end of next week between Katanga and ZCDC. Essentially, the Chiadzwa community were granted title over some diamond concession and they have gone into a joint venture with Vast Resources which is quoted on the London Stock Exchange,” he said.
“So Katanga will be signing a joint venture agreement with ZCDC, which holds the mining title. As government, we are obviously pleased,” said Minister Chitando.
Despite discovering huge diamond deposits in the eastern parts of the country over a decade ago, Zimbabwe is yet to realise meaningful benefits from their exploitation. Companies that were operating in Chiadzwa previously, before their operations were amalgamated into the ZCDC, were accused of widespread leakages of gems, with the late former President Robert Mugabe saying the country could have been prejudiced of revenues amounting to $15 billion over the years. While the figure remains contentious, no one has doubted leakages in the sector. — New Ziana.