HARARE – By Business Reporter – Monday 8 June 2020
HARARE (Mining Index) – THE much anticipated joint venture between Katanga and Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) may never see the light of day as Chiadzwa Mineral Resources (CMR) chairman Newman Chiadzwa reveals how he has been tipped by a top government official to be the only partner in the diamond joint venture with ZCDC.
Katanga is a joint venture formed between United Kingdom based Vast Resources Enterprises (VRE) and the Marange community under the Chiadzwa Community Development Trust (CCDT).
This publication is informed that in recent weeks, Newman Chiadzwa was in the process of preparing a shareholders agreement, among other related documents, for submission to ZCDC, paving way for the diamond partnership.
Information coming to light indicates ZCDC may not be signing any joint venture agreements, but will only be partnering with Newman Chiadzwa.
“With the reports reaching me, I’m no longer giving community the concession; your relatives will kill you. I am giving it to you personally as indicated, as said on day one. If you want to involve community of relatives it’s all up to you,” revealed Newman Chiadzwa in a conversation seen by this publication.
Currently, Newman Chiadzwa’s house is the only domestic homestead remaining in the Chiadzwa Diamond Fields after thousands of people were forcibly removed and relocated to ARDA Transau when the diamond mining operations were formalised in 2006.
Newman Chiadzwa could not hide how he would also want to use part of the diamond partnership for self-enrichment.
“Although I also fight for personal benefit in this project it never crossed my mind to benefit alone under the watch of my community,” he said.
He also revealed his willingness to relinquish his chairmanship post in both CMR and CCDT.
“I think Vast will not want this information known because they have more to lose. Anyway all this information has already filtered to the top hence advice to abandon CCDT and CMR. I may give someone chairmanship of CCDT and source funding for it,” said Chiadzwa.
While government has in recent years been dishing out mega mining contracts to foreigner investors especially the Chinese and Russians, there has been little space for western investors.
Parties involved in the ZCDC/Katanga diamond partnership question why Russia’s Alrosa and the ZCDC partnership did not take time to be signed, while the Katanga partnership involving British investors keep dragging. Newman Chiadzwa seems to have the answer when he said, “Let us manage it. As we predicted, government wanted Vast to close that court case period, they have no appetite for British investors.”
In 2018, Vast withdrew pending court case between government and African Consolidated Resources (ACR), now Vast in order to access and mine diamonds in Marange.
Approximately 26400grams of diamonds were declared by Vast for valuation by MMCZ that were subsequently confiscated and to this day, is believed to still be sitting at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ). ENDS// www.miningindex.co.zw
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