By Business Reporter – Sunday 1 December 2019
HARARE (Mining Index) – LONDON Stock Exchange listed Vast Resources and Diamond explorer Botswana Diamonds have entered into a new agreement that replaces the Heritage Concession due to changes in the area likely to be licenced by Vast.
The Chiadzwa Community Diamond Project is a joint venture (JV) between Vast Resources Zimbabwean subsidiary, Katanga Mining and state-owned Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) to explore and mine the Heritage concession in the Marange Diamond Fields.
ZCDC holds mining rights to prospect and mine diamonds in the Chiadzwa Community Diamond Concession.
The latest developments have seen the creation of a special purpose vehicle, Newco, formed to hold the interests of Vast Resources in the Chiadzwa Community JV and Katanga Mining.
Commenting on the development, Botswana Diamonds Chairman John Teeling said;
“Vast Resources is at an advanced stage in finalising an agreement with the Central Authorities on a package of ground in the Chiadzwa / Marange area. This is a revised package from that on which Botswana Diamonds and Vast Resources had previously agreed to cooperate. In the light of this development, our previous agreement with Vast has been revised on new terms acceptable to the board.”
“We look forward to the diamond agreement being concluded and to work starting on what is highly prospective ground. Botswana Diamonds is also studying additional opportunities in Zimbabwe.”
At the time of finalisation of a detailed agreement between Katanga and ZCDC, Botswana Diamonds, as a consulting partner, will provide free management advice for five years to Vast Resources and Newco for exploration, mining, processing and marketing in relation to the Chiadzwa Community Diamond Concession.
Vast described Botswana Diamonds as a specialist diamond explorer and miner, which has developed “considerable knowhow” on all matters concerned with the exploration and mining of diamonds.
In October last year, Vast Resources and Botswana Diamonds concluded an agreement to develop the Heritage concessions in Marange including a separate agreement that would cover the joint development of diamond properties outside Marange.
Vast owns diamond, copper, silver, and lead assets in Zimbabwe and Romania. The UK –based mining company also operates gold mines in Zimbabwe, with the Chiadzwa Community Diamond Project becoming one of the company’s key growth drivers.
Botswana Diamonds is a diamond exploration and project development company that holds exploration licenses in Botswana and South Africa.
The Marange Diamond Fields have been a subject of debate and controversy between civic society, business and government, with some suggesting it could be home to one of the world’s richest diamond deposits. Zimbabwe is rich in resources and significant diamond potential, which if managed well have great capacity to revive its economy.
The Diamond Policy of December 2018 gave mining rights to four companies to explore and mine diamonds in Zimbabwe. ZCDC and Murowa Diamonds were approved together with Anjin, a Chinese firm and Alrosa from Russia.
Anjin returned to Marange this year after being forced out from the diamond fields in 2016 among Mbada Diamonds, Marange Resources, Diamond Mining Company (DMC), Jinan, Gye Nyame and Kusena.
Alrosa in July this year entered into a joint venture (JV) agreement with ZCDC to develop diamond deposits in Zimbabwe according it a 70 percent controlling stake towards the development of greenfield projects while ZCDC retained a paltry 30 percent. Alrosa is the world’s top diamond producer by output, accounting for 29 percent of the global rough diamond production in terms of carats. ENDS//