Thursday, July 07, 2011

(STICKY) (NEWZIMBABWE, SAPA) Probe into De Beers operations in Chiadzwa

COMMENT - Here we go. I wonder whether the mine industry apologists are going to turn up and complain about Anglo-American De Beers and it's violation of the 'Rule Of Law'. Or perhaps they think the rule of law only applies to Africans? De Beers should lose it's license to operate in Zimbabwe, let alone other African countries. It is obscene that trillionaires are gleaning every cent of profit they can from Africa, while the people starve and live on $1,- per day. Also, if they can't be trusted to declare their revenues, they can't be trusted to declare their taxable income. I say nationalize their assets.

Probe into De Beers operations in Chiadzwa
07/07/2011 00:00:00
by Sapa

THE Zimbabwean government is investigating the operations of diamond company De Beers in Chiadzwa some years back amid fears the company could have looted gems worth hundreds of millions of dollars. De Beers spent eight years exploring diamonds at the fields, but later claimed that it failed to get anything meaningful.

These are the same fields that Mbada, Marange Resources and Anjin Investment are operating on viably today and extracting millions of carats, the report said.
Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister Gift Chimanikire on Wednesday confirmed a probe was already underway.

“We have requested a full report on De Beers and their operations from our officers,” Chimanikire said.

The allegations against De Beers were first made by President Robert Mugabe in March last year.

His spokesman George Charamba said at the time: "For 15 years, the Zimbabwe government believed De Beers was only prospecting and carrying out tests when the company was actually mining.

"When the government finally realised this and tried to arrest them, that's when they hurriedly pulled out and claimed the diamonds were not of commercial value."

At the time, Charamba had indicated the government could not "take the issue further" because it could not establish "how much of the diamonds have been taken".

"The most important thing now is that we now have our mines back."

De Beers' director of international relations has denied any wrong doing by the mining giant.

"We were in the Marange fields from 1993 to 2006," Andrew Bone said from London. "We only did core sampling. The deposits we found there did not fit into our portfolio. There were also disputes regarding the allocation of a second concession to another mining company, ACR. That's why we pulled out.

"The bottom line is that there are ridiculous allegations and there is no evidence of De Beers mining diamonds in that area."

But on that last point, Charamba shot back: "It is not a secret that alluvial diamonds are mined at the surface. It is not like a kimberlite. Why should it take 15 years for such an experienced company to conclude that our diamonds are of no value to them?"

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