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The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Mining Company (ZCDC) Needs Watching

The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Mining Company (ZCDC) is currently mining diamonds in Marange albeit on a small scale given that there remains legal contestation over the consolidation process itself. Companies including Anjin, Jinan and Mbada have challenged the cons....

What is of interest is that ZCDC intends to conduct riverbed gold mining in Gache Gache River on the eastern basin of Lake Kariba. The company which was ostensibly established to mine diamonds is now looking to exploit gold deposits. In fact, the company began operations there in 2016 and was only stopped by the Minister of Mines and Mining Development as....

The Environmental Management Agency has since given the project the.... As of December 2016, the Board of ZCDC was irregularly composed as the Permanent Secretary of the Mines Ministry was the Chair of the Board. In addition and as aforementioned, ZCDC was established to house government’s mining interests in the diamond sector but is now getting involved in the gold sector.  ZMDC has confirmed that it intends to take over ZCDC’s gold mining operations in Gache Gache in the first quarter of 2017. The question becomes- why is ZCDC proceeding with any operations if ZMDC aims to take over this year? The company was also registered under the Companies Act and unlike, the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, is not established by an Act of Parliament. This raises questions on the extent to which Parliament has oversight over the company. What is the environmental impact of riverbed mining in this area?

Despite these concerns, what may be of comfort is that all gold recovered in Zimbabwe is supposed to be formally sold through the central bank’s Fidelity Printers and Refiners. The central bank has, thus far, promoted transparency and accountability in gold mining through disclosing production, export and earnings data. ZCDC needs watching to ensure that gold mining in Gache Gache does not result in a repeat of the opacity that characterised alluvial diamond mining in Marange. The government of Zimbabwe needs all the money it can get- this may result in a rush to get Gache Gache mined without following due process.

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Comment by Michael Munaki on February 13, 2017 at 10:32

Thank you for this contribution, my concern is that the mining concession is being granted to ZMDC which in the past has failed to manage the mines already in their portfolio. Furthermore we have an issue of illicit revenue flows in our mining sector, particularly in the diamond sector, under-declaring  being chief among them, operations are said to have already been running by the time operations where stopped at  Gache-Gache. Has the Gold recovered accounted for properly? 

Operations had already begun without proper documentation having been sought from the relevant authorities. Can such disregard for policy really bring about the outcomes Zimbabweans are hoping for from these vast mineral resources we are endowed with.

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