Monday, May 31, 2010
THE chief executive of Murowa Diamond mine said on Friday he was disappointed with government's ban on diamond exports but hoped to quickly resolve the issue.
Mines minister said on Thursday all diamond exports, including from those the Zvishavane-based Murowa Mine, had been halted until stones from the government's controversial Marange fields were certified by industry regulators.
"We are disappointed that we have been dragged into the issues in the east of the country, which are far removed and having nothing to do with us," Neils Kristensen, Murowa chief executive said on the sidelines of a mining conference in Victoria Falls.
He would not say how much Murowa would lose as a result of the ban. Murowa mine, which produced 124,000 carats last year, and privately owned River Ranch, are both certified by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme to export diamonds.
Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed RioZim limited has a 22 percent interest in the mine while the balance is controlled by global resources group Rio Tinto PLC.
Government’s decision to impose a blanket ban on exports was triggered by increasing frustration over the delays by the Kimberly Process certification scheme (KP) to allow trade in stones mined from the Marange fields.
"As Government we view Zimbabwean diamonds as Zimbabwean diamonds regardless of where they are mined. We have a clear distinction where certain diamonds can be viewed as acceptable while others are not.
"We cannot continue as Government to facilitate that kind of misguided approach to our diamonds by our detractors," Minister Mpofu told the state-owned Herald newspaper.