Sunday, November 11, 2012

Zimbabwe Government Tightens Diamond Systems

Government tightens diamond systems

Saturday, 10 November 2012 20:30
Itai Mazire
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail

The Government has formulated and adopted the Zim­babwe Diamond Policy (ZDP) that seeks to enhance transparency in the diamond trade and the benefi­ciation of gemstones.

The policy addresses loopholes that were being experienced in diamond exploration, mining, transportation, storage, valuation, marketing, beneficiation, value addition, capacity building and security.

According to the ZDP, several Govern­ment departments would be granted access to the financial records of all mining compa­nies involved in diamond activities.

According to Section 6 of the policy: “There shall be access to diamond trade and financial records of all mining companies involved in diamond activities by the Min­istry of Mines and Mining Development or its appointed agent(s) and other relevant arms of Government such as Treasury, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and the Envi­ronmental Management Agency.

“The Ministry of Mines and Mining Devel­opment will ensure that all diamond revenue is collected and remitted accord­ingly to Trea­sury.”

Mines and Mining Development Perma­nent Secretary Mr Prince Mupazvir­iho said the policy would ensure the coun­try’s dia­mond sector adheres to interna­tional prac­tices.

“The policy creates an environment of accountability that gives Zimbabwe an opportunity to attract local and foreign investment in the sector. The ZDP will tighten all leakages in the diamond sector,” he said.

The policy also proposes implementation strategies, indigenisation of the sector, set­ting up of a Sovereign Wealth Fund, offences and penalties for diamond compa­nies and indi­viduals who violate mining laws. According to Section 5.15, a quota of all locally produced rough diamonds shall be reserved for local beneficiation.

“There shall be appropriation of funds from diamond royalties collected by Trea­sury to the Sovereign Wealth Fund and in terms of the Mines and Minerals Act (Cap 21:05) as amended,” reads part of the policy.

“The funds accrued will be invested in other sectors of the economy to enable all Zimbabweans and future generations to ben­efit from the country’s diamond resources.”

Mbeki to grace diamond conference

Saturday, 10 November 2012 20:31
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki is expected to grace the landmark Zimbabwe Diamond Conference which roars to life in Victoria Falls tomorrow.

Mines and Mining Development Minister Dr Obert Mpofu confirmed the respected statesman’s participation at a conference that has attracted leading players in the world dia­mond industry.

“We have invited Cde Mbeki and we are very proud to be associated with him because of his international resume. He is expected to give the keynote address at the conference.

“He is a renowned international mediator who was responsible for initiating the talks for our unity government and at one time he was tasked with mediating in the crisis in Syria,” he said.

Other dignitaries expected to attend the conference include Kimberly Process chair­person Ambassador Gillian Milovanovic, KP monitor Mr Abbey Chikane and renowned international diamond expert Mr Chaim Even-Zohar.

Mining ministers from countries such as South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola have also confirmed their partic­ipation.

In an interview, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Mines and Mining Develop­ment Mr Prince Mupazviriho said all is set for the historic conference.

“Preparations for the conference are going on smoothly. Most of the invited delegates have confirmed their attendance,” he said, adding that the conference will mostly focus on beneficiation of diamond resources.

“The main highlight of the conference is that we are now going beyond just the mining of diamonds. We are now focusing on benefi­ciation to see how best the country can bene­fit from the diamonds. That is why we have invited all stakeholders from different coun­tries to help us develop our own systems to enhance beneficiation from the diamonds,” he said.

The conference would also seek to demonstrate that all diamond operations in the country are above board, he added.

“The conference will also provide an opportunity for everyone to see that every­thing that we are doing in terms of the dia­monds is above board. We have nothing to hide despite the negative international views that we get regards our diamonds,” he said.

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