Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
Government has started merging diamond mining firms in Marange to streamline their operations and ensure accountability of proceeds, with Marange Resources and Gye Nyame having recently become one entity, while others will follow suit soon.Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa yesterday said a formal announcement will be made soon on the merging of the two companies.
Marange Resources is wholly-owned by Government, while Gye Nyame is a Ghanaian firm whose licence was withdrawn recently for non performance. The merging of the companies is expected to curb leakage in diamond revenue and enhance transparency in diamond mining.
Minister Chidhakwa said negotiations were under way with other mining companies in Chiadzwa where Government had no total control.
“We are gradually moving towards consolidation,” he said.
“What I can say for now is that our guys are finishing working on the liabilities and value of assets for Marange Resources and Gye Nyame and an announcement will be made soon on their consolidation.”
Minister Chidhakwa said the law of succession compelled the Government to take over assets, liabilities and employees of the companies. As Government, he said, they would not want to disappoint creditors and appropriate measures were being taken to ensure they were compensated.
“You do not just take the assets, but you also assume liabilities of that company and people employed,” Minister Chidhakwa said.
“We should not do things that disappoint the creditors.”
With regards to Anjin Investments whose chairman Mr Jaing Qinde is based in Beijing, Minister Chidhakwa said Government would soon come up with an alternative way of dealing with the firm if he continued to give excuses.
“The last time that we communicated with him he said he was busy, but he indicated his willingness to come,” he said.
“If he fails to come, we will find an alternative way of dealing with that matter.”
In April, Government formally informed diamond companies in Marange that only one or two of them would be left to mine in Chiadzwa.
This was after they failed to properly account for revenue realised from their operations.
The firms have also not been forthcoming with regards to honouring their obligations to the Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust.
The remaining one or two firms will operate as joint ventures with Government, as it moves to improve accountability and increase revenue to Treasury.
There were seven diamond miners in Chiadzwa namely Anjin Investments, Diamond Mining Company, Gye Nyame, Jinan, Kusena, Marange Resources and Mbada Diamonds.
Government has also rapped ZMDC for shoddy work in Marange and accused the state enterprises’ officials of conniving with the mining companies not to declare proceeds from the gems.