Six Die in Diamond Mine Plane Crash

Indian mining billionaire Harpal Randhawa, his son, and four others died when their plane crashed en route to the Murowa diamond mine, in Zimbabwe.

The Cessna 206 aircraft belonged to Randhawa’s RZM Murowa, a company that part-owns and operates the mine. It also produces gold and coal and refines nickel and copper.

Randhawa and his 22-year-old son Amer set off from Harare on Friday morning (29 September). Their plane came down in the southwestern part of the country, reportedly due a technical fault.

Zimbabwe police said the crash happened between 7.30 am and 8am, and confirmed the deaths of all six people on board.

“The Murowa Diamond Company (RioZim)-owned white and red Zcam aircraft had left Harare for the mine at 6 am and crashed about 6 km from Mashava,” it said.

Planes are often used as a secure method of transporting diamonds. In February a light aircraft transporting diamonds from Murowa came down in a field, also after experiencing technical problems.

The pilot suffered head injuries and was said to be in a critical condition. Four passengers were in a stable condition.

Source: IDEX

Zimbabwe Diamond Sector to Grow to $1 Billion by 2024

Zimbabwe Diamond mine

Winston Chitando, Zimbabwe’s mines and mining development minister, said in an interview with the Sunday Mail newspaper quoted by IDEX Online that the country’s diamond sector will grow to $1 billion by the end of 2023.

Chitando said that Murowa Diamonds and the ZCDC (Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company) “were expanding their operations and would help bring total output to 7 million carats, up from 2 million in 2018.”

Chitando said: “Other countries produce quite a lot, but their production is mature . . . whereas Zimbabwe has a fairly rapidly growing industry. It is probably experiencing the biggest growth in the diamond industry in the world.”

In another report in Rough & Polished, Zimbabwe’s Finance minister Mthuli Ncube is quoted as saying that the mining sector is expected to grow by 10% this year, and that the government had issued 20 exploration prospecting orders (EPOs) to several companies this year. He also said that the mining sector “is expected to grow by 10.4% in 2023.”

Source: israelidiamond

Zimbabwe Mine Running out of Diamonds

Murowa mine Zimbabwe

The Murowa mine, in Zimbabwe, reported a 15 per cent drop in its diamond production for 2020 as known deposits begin to run dry.

Owners RioZim said it was exploring sites near the three kimberlites pipes currently being worked in the southern central Midlands Province.

Rough output in the year ending 31 December 2020 from the RioZim associate RZM Murowa Private Limited was 579,000 carats, down from 685,000 carats the previous year.

RioZim chairman Saleem Rashid Beebeejaun said the main reason for the drop in yields was that the mine had been processing low-grade resources from its K2 pipe. High-grade resources at K1 have become depleted.

But firm gold prices helped the minerals and mining parent company RioZim bounce back with a $454m profit in 2020, after a $584m loss in 2020.

Source: John Jeffay IDEX

Who wins and who loses in the rush for diamonds?

Zimbabwe Diamond Production

The list of hardships and suffering linked to Zimbabwe’s diamond mines is growing longer by the day.

Since diamonds were discovered in the Marange fields in 2001, non-governmental organisations have been looking into abuse and dodgy dealings:

Human rights violations;
Opaque business deals;
Unfair treatment of residents;
Diamond smuggling.

The Marange diamond fields are in Chiadzwa, Mutare District, in eastern Zimbabwe. Thousands of people have been displaced to make way for mining operations.

Chinese mining companies and the Harare government made big promises to the displaced people, and their hopes are fading, with people saying they were duped to move out of their ancestral lands.

When Zimbabwean villagers from Chiadzwa were relocated to Agricultural Rural Development Authority (Arda) Transau, a state-owned farm in Odzi, about 40km from Mutare, to pave way for diamond mining, they were promised better life by both the government and several Chinese mining companies.

The government relocated more than 1 200 villagers from Chiadzwa to Arda Transau in 2009 after forcibly removing, in a bloody crackdown, more than 20 000 small-scale miners who had invaded the once-rich diamond fields in 2006.

Promises, promises

Arable lands, a US$5 000 compensation fee, grazing lands, schools and jobs are some of what the relocated residents were promised.

Chinese mining companies that were among the seven companies given mining rights include Jinan and Anjin — a company jointly owned by Chinese company Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Company Limited and Matt Bronze, a company owned by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.

When the government under Zimbabwe’s long-time ruler, the late Robert Mugabe, took over the diamond fields through the newly formed Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) in 2016, some of the relocated villagers were hopeful that the move would improve their livelihoods.

Anjin was against Mugabe’s move and took his government to court.

In 2019, Anjin joined mining companies ZCDC in Chiadzwa after it was given back its mining license following pressure from Beijing on President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who came to power after Mugabe was toppled through a military coup in November 2017.

Hopes fading away

Many relocated residents say they got an unfair deal. They are living in dilapidated houses while their children are learning in makeshift classes. This is no clean water and few jobs.

“When I relocated to this area in 2010, this house was already cracking,” Jason Musiyanga (40), a father of three, said.

Musiyanga, whose name has been changed to protect his identity for fear of reprisal, says no one is coming to his rescue.

“I am living in fear. One day, this four-roomed house might just fall while I am asleep with my family,” he said.

Not enough to go around

Nomore Mamombe 51 said his one-hectare piece of land was not enough to accommodate his family of seven children with four of them married.

“Back in Chiadzwa, I had a 16-hectare piece of land which was enough for my children to build their own houses when they get married. Now we are sharing this four-roomed house,”  Mamombe said.

“It is against my Shona culture for me to share the same house with my daughters-in-law.”

Looking for answers

Neither the government nor the companies are claiming responsibility for the hardships of the residents of Arda Transau.

Each group of villagers was relocated by each of the seven companies that had been granted mining licenses by the government.

Musiyanga was relocated by Anjin, while Mamombe was relocated by Jinan.

Mines minister Winston Chitando did not respond to questions sent to him by The Africa Report.

Anjin secretary Richard Mahoya, in a telephone interview, requested the questions to be sent to him via email.

They were sent, and he acknowledged receipt, but he had not yet responded by the time of publishing.

No property security

“The Chinese built nearly 1 000 houses for over 1 200 households,” according to the Arda Transau Relocation Development Trust (ATRDT).

Tawanda Mufute, the ATRDT secretary, said they did not have title deeds to their properties.

“We have made strides for us to get title deeds but our efforts were fruitless. There are fears that if another mineral like gold is found where we are now, we might be relocated again. We do not have any property security,” he said.

Mufute added that the population had since grown and villagers were now competing for the few available resources.

“Our population is now more than 9 000,” he said.

A single school

The relocated villagers are sharing one school which was constructed by Anjin.

“Our primary school has a population of more than 1 200 pupils. This is against four blocks that were built by Anjin. Parents have also built another block, but they are inadequate. Some pupils are learning in makeshifts classes,” Mufute said.

He added that the relocated villagers were yet to be compensated by the Chinese companies.

“In terms of compensation, the families are yet to receive the US$5 000 compensation fee which they were promised. They were only given US$1 000 as a disturbance allowance when they were relocated,” Mufute said.

No clear lines of responsibility

Mufute said it was not clearly outlined who should be responsible for these relocated Chiadzwa villagers between the government and Anjin.

“It is all about blame games. The government is saying it is the Chinese companies yet the Chinese companies are saying they are waiting to hear from the government,” said Mufute.

Pleasing investors at the expense of the indigenous people’

Simiso Mlevu, spokesperson for Centre for Natural Resource Governance, said it was the responsibility of government to take care of the socio-economic needs of the people.

“The predicament of the people of Arda Transau simply shows that the government does not have people-centric policies,” she said.

“Our policies are aimed at pleasing the investors at the expense of indigenous people. Indigenous communities need to enjoy economic, cultural and social security in their own country.”

Shamiso Mtisi, the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association’s deputy director, said it was important for government to comply with constitutional provisions related to evictions of communities.

“Government and companies must provide people with adequate information on displacement implementation plans including associated costs, compensation levels, where people will go, what they will get including time frames,” he explains.

Source: The Africa Report

Alrosa, ZCDC JV starts prospecting for diamonds in Zimbabwe

Alrosa mining

Alrosa Zimbabwe (Alrosa Zim), a joint venture (JV) between Russian diamond miner Alrosa and Zimbabwe State-owned miner Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), has started prospecting and preliminary exploration works for primary diamond deposits.

After getting special grants from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, Alrosa Zim had the environmental-impact assessment (EIA) approved by the Environmental Management Agency (EMA), and is set to begin prospecting and exploration in the Masvingo, Matebeleland South and Matebeleland North provinces of Zimbabwe.

In July, Alrosa Zim’s geologists started geochemical sampling, trenching and pitting in Malipati zone, with ground geophysical surveys to follow.

The same prospecting work, including airborne geophysical surveys, is set to be conducted in the Maitengwe area towards the end of year.

Bulk sampling and drilling are set to begin in 2021.

“Following the signing of a JV agreement with ZCDC to develop diamond deposits in Zimbabwe in December 2019, we are progressing well towards the initiation of the full-scale prospecting works this year.

“Being a member of Responsible Jewellery Council, the World Diamond Council and the Natural Diamond Council, Alrosa complies in full with all industry commitments on responsible business practices and its own corporate standards.

“Alrosa is committed to follow these principles strictly while working in Zimbabwe, minimising adverse environmental impact in all areas of activities and using mineral resources comprehensively and rationally,” says Alrosa deputy CEO Vladimir Marchenko.

Alrosa expects to investment $12-million in Zimbabwe from 2020 to 2022.

Alrosa holds 70% of Alrosa Zimbabwe, and ZCDC the balance. The JV focuses on prospecting, exploration and mining of primary diamond deposits in Zimbabwe. 

Source: miningweekly

Zimbabwe’s ZCDC Sets Sight On Doubling Diamond Production

Zimbabwe Diamond Production

The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Mining Company (ZCDC) failed to meet its 2019 target of 3 million carats, but officials are buoyant fortunes will turn around as the firm has consolidated its investments in exploration, mining and processing to improve output this year.

Speaking durng a media tour of Chiadzwa diamond fields on Friday last week, Acting ZCDC Chief Executive Officer Roberto DePreto said they are aiming to double the 1.6 million carats produced last year through joint venture agreements, increased exploration as well as mitigating viability challenges, linked to power shortages and access to foreign currency.

“Since the Diamond Policy was issued we are now looking for joint venture partners, those joint venture partners get allocated a particular concession and we then subdivide the (overall) 626 special grant into specific special grants for those venture companies.

“Last year we produced 1.6 million carats and this year we are targeting to double that through our investments in new plant machinery and our exploration capabilities,” said DePreto.

Consuming an average of 5 megawatts and at 25 000 of diesel daily, ZCDC has also invested in new plant machinery from Belarus which needs foreign currency for repair and maintenance, with at least seventy percent of consumables and spares imported.

Officials said such overheads have hampered production targets, costing in total a minimum of 8 million tons of unprocessed diamond ore from the down time caused by the listed operation constrains.

Mine manager, Innocent Guvakuva said focus will be placed on optimizing processing capacity, already on a positive trajectory following acquisition of new plant machinery, as well as improving power supply to reduce production downtime.

“Last year there were issues to do with power, this year there has been a bit of improvement but last year it was worse, issues to do with fuel and general forex availability because 70 percent of all consumables and spares we import.

“So, if your foreign currency access scenario is not stable you are bound to suffer, but this year things have started on a better note… one of the biggest challenges in Zimbabwe is that we are a cash economy.

“We lost a lot last year in terms of production down time we lost, probably in terms of total material mined we are looking at about 8 million tones that we could have moved last year, which is very big,” said Guvakuva.

He added, “We have installed a 450 ton per hour plant it’s got phases now we are installing phase three where carat production is expected to go up, our focus now in terms of mining we are stable but it’s the liberation and optimization of the plant that we will work on.”

Guvakuva said focus will also be placed on greenfield and ground field, together with exploration contractors under a ‘hybrid exploration model’ in the seven approved special grants in regions considered diamondiferous.

“We are increasing our exploration through a hybrid model in the sense that we have our own exploration drill rigs, commissioned them in 2018, they are called diamond drill rigs that can drill up to 250 metres, we have what we call a Reverse Circulation Rigs (RCO).

“We have also engaged contractors which makes it the hybrid model, they have done work right now the contract has ended, but we are doing a lot of exploration we have a lot of ground field and greenfield projects all over the place.

“ZCDC we have seven approved special grants, in this whole area which is about 26 to 30 kilometers its assumed to be diamondiferous, but the economics of it is what we do through exploration. To say we will be here for two or three years I will be lying (is an under estimation) but we will be here for a very long time,” said Guvakuva.

Source: allafrica

Zimbabwe intends to sell another 500,000 carats of diamonds before end of 2019

Zimbabwe Rough Diamonds

Zimbabwe says it intends to auction between 400,000 and 500,000 carats of diamonds before the end of 2019.

This follows another auction two weeks ago, the third in 2019, in which the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) sold 316,000 carats, whose value is yet to be established as figures are still being reconciled.

Prior to the last sale, Zimbabwe had in June invited seven international buyers to participate in a private sale of nearly two million carats.

The Herald newspaper reported Wednesday that MMCZ general manager Tongai Muzenda had said that the corporation expected better returns in the short-term on account of the level of pricing systems that would prevail in the market.

“We are looking forward to conducting another diamond auction where we are targeting to sell between 400,000 and 500,000 carats by the end of November,” he said.

Zimbabwe expects to produce 4.1 million carats of diamonds this year, up from 2.8 million carats last year. At the peak of production in 2012, output was 12 million carats.

Source: xinhuanet

Robert Mugabe’s appearance in diamonds inquiry delayed


Former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe will not appear before a parliament committee this week to answer questions on multi-billion-dollar corruption in the diamond industry after the hearing was postponed, a lawmaker said on Monday.

The 94 year old Mugabe had been summoned to appear before the mines and energy committee on Wednesday.

But the member of parliament who is leading the inquiry said the hearing had been postponed to a date yet to be decided by the clerk of parliament.

“The committee had already resolved to invite the former president to give evidence,” Temba Mliswa, mines and energy committee chairperson told AFP.

“It is the clerk of parliament who will write to him (Mugabe) to come to parliament.”

Mugabe’s name did not appear on the parliament committee meetings scheduled for this week.

The lawmakers plan to question Mugabe over his 2016 claim that the country had lost $15-billion (R188-billion) due to corruption and foreign exploitation in the diamond sector.

The committee has already interviewed former ministers, police and intelligence chiefs to answer on diamond mining operations at the vast Chiadzwa gem fields.

Mugabe ruled Zimbabwe from 1980 until he was ousted last year after the military took over briefly and his once loyal Zanu PF party turned against him.

The former ruler, whose own regime was accused of siphoning off diamond profits, has described his ousting as a coup, and that it must be “undone”.

Zimbabwe discovered alluvial diamonds in Chiadzwa, in the east of the country, over 10 years ago, and rights groups have accused security forces of using brutal methods to control the scattered deposits.

Rights groups say over 200 people were killed during operations to remove illegal panners from the area.

Amid allegations of massive looting, Zimbabwe allowed several diamond companies to mine the area – most of them as joint ventures between the government and Chinese firms.

Source: AFP

Zimbabwe ruling elite linked to disappearing diamonds

Zimbabwe Diamonds

An anti corruption group alleges it has evidence linking Zimbabwe’s ruling elite to  a decade of disappearing diamond wealth. Top security and political leaders steeling and profiting from Zimbabwe’s diamond reserves.

London based Global Witness report published on Monday, accuses Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Organisation spy agency of  concealing a stake in Kusena Diamonds in the Marange diamond fields in eastern Zimbabwe.Diamonds produced by the CIO linked company are traded in Dubai and  Antwerp two of the world’s leading marketplaces and have funded political repression.


Zimbabwean military, and the government itself with the Companies have concealed their finances and shielded their operations from public scrutiny.

Zimbabwean officials had no immediate comment.