Mbada Diamonds chairman Dr. Robert Mhlanga of the Republic of Zimbabwe. The southern African country is rich in diamonds., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Mbada Diamonds injects US$300 million into national coffers
Tuesday, 22 May 2012 00:00
MBADA Diamonds has contributed approximately US$300 million in revenue to Government in the past two years. The figure could, however, have been higher if the country was not under the illegal Western imposed sanctions.
Appearing separately before the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy Mbada Diamonds chairman Dr Robert Mhlanga and his Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation counterpart Mr Godwills Masimirembwa said Zimbabwe was losing out to some markets because of the economic embargo.
In his presentation Dr Mhlanga said his company had realised a total of US$592 536 603, 25 million since they commenced operations in 2009.
He said of that amount US$76 192 302, 21 had been paid to Government as royalties, US$33 943 338 for resource depletion while US$5 965 412 had been paid as marketing fees.
A further US$117 202 859, 79 had been paid to Government as dividend, US$42 515 848 as corporate tax while US$17 829 562 had been paid as withholding tax.
“In total we have paid a total of US$293 549 914 to Government and this constitute nearly 50 percent of the gross we generate with 26 percent going to working capital while 24 percent went to the other shareholder (Reclamation).
“Our accounts are audited by KPMG and all our audits to date do not have any qualifications,” said Dr Mhlanga.
He, however, bemoaned the sanctions against the companies operating in Chiadzwa.
“We have challenges because you would appreciate that all buyers from the US and Europe were coming in and we were selling transparently we would have a bigger number of people coming in and higher competition and push the price up.
“If you look at these statistics, these are the statistics that Government actually has and they are not just coming from Mbada but are funds that Mbada has given to Government under this challenging environment,” he said.
Dr Mhlanga said they had embarked on a number of corporate social responsibility programmes aimed at assisting people displaced by their mining operations and those living in surrounding communities.
These include food aid, boreholes, provision of farming inputs, construction and rehabilitation of schools and clinics among others.
In his contributions Mr Masimirembwa said: “Like all operations there (at Chiadzwa) the challenge that continues to haunt us is that we are not competing at an even platform.
“The US and Europe are virtually closed to us because of the sanctions imposed on us.
“Buyers will come and expect to get diamonds on a bargain.”
He said despite the operations at Chiadzwa being Kimberly Process compliant the US had gone to impose unilateral sanctions against the diamond companies.
Mr Masimirembwa said DMC, another joint venture company operating at Chiadzwa, is currently facing difficulties repatriating US$1 million due to shareholders.
He said the companies were failing to obtain working capital for exploration projects at the vast diamond fields.