Samuel Kadungure in Chimanimani
Government has lost more than $21 million in potential statutory remittances following its recent directive suspending alluvial diamond extraction by diversified mining firm DTZ-OZGEO on environmental concerns, Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko has said.
VP Mphoko made the revelations during his tour of the company’s multi-million dollar dense medium separator plant in Chimanimani on Friday, where it is involved in alluvial diamond mining.
He said Government was reviewing its decision as part of efforts to generate more revenue. The decision has also affected over 400 workers. The Environmental Management Agency stopped the company from mining until it had rehabilitated land where it carried out previous operations.
The company was accused of destroying the ecosystem and polluting Mutare River in Penhalonga. Last year the company also produced 282,8 kg of gold.
“This is state-of-the-art and the level of production is satisfactory,” said VP Mphoko, declining to give the exact output figure.
The company’s Chimanimani plant uses technology similar to that used by one of the largest diamond miners, Alrosa in Russia and has a 90 percent recovery capacity.
The mine has capacity to produce between 40 000 to 50 000 carats of diamonds per month.
“There is rapport between the company and the community,” said VP Mphoko. “This should be replicated in Penhalonga where the company’s other operations have been temporarily suspended. We are working on that, we are reviewing that decision because we cannot afford to lose $21 million and 400 jobs,” SAID vp Mphoko.