Kudakwashe Mhundwa Business Reporter
The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), has moved a gear up towards establishing diamonds extraction operations in Chihota communal lands in Marondera District, with the firm having engaged a local research institute to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study on its behalf.
An EIA is a study of the effects of a proposed project, plan or programme on the environment including the impact it will have to people in the affected area and remedies available.
Lending banks and bilateral aid agencies need the EIA when applying to borrow funds to finance the project.
The recent diamond discovery in Chihota came months before the Government identified Russian mining giant, Alrosa Diamond Company and Anjin Investments as the foreign companies that will participate in the country’s multi-billion dollar diamond sector.
The Zimbabwe National Diamond Policy, which was approved by Cabinet on December 4 last year, says ZCDC, Murowa Diamonds and two other companies (now Alrosa and Anjin), would be permitted to undertake diamond exploration and mining.
In a statement on Friday the ZCDC said the Chihota EIA would be done in fulfilment of the requirements of the Environmental Management Act before undertaking effective mining operations.
“Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) intends to carry out mineral exploration in Chihota Communal Lands in Marondera District.
“According to the Environmental Management Act (Cap 20:27), this development requires that an Environmental Impact Assessment be carried out. As such, ZCDC contracted the Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre (SIRDC) to conduct an EIA for the diamond exploration project,” reads part of the statement.
ZCDC CEO Dr Morris Mpofu, is on record saying by 2022, the company would have invested US$400 million to ramp up diamond production to 10 million carats annually in various mining projects under its purview.
This also follows reports that ZCDC was targeting to spend about US$200 million in 2018 with the bulk of the resources being channelled towards conducting comprehensive exploration as well as opening additional mines in areas such as Chihota, among other key priority areas.
Source : The Herald