Bloomberg News

Zimbabwe to Reopen Marange Tender By Year-End, Chimanikire Says

October 20, 2011

Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe will reopen a contract for an aerial assessment of the geology of the Marange diamond fields by the end of the year, Deputy Mines Minister Gift Chimanikire said.

The tender was suspended last year because of “administrative problems,” Chimanikire said today in an interview in the capital, Harare.

The Marange diamond fields are in the east of Zimbabwe, about 90 kilometers (56 miles) south-west Mutare. Human Rights Watch has accused Zimbabwean authorities of killing local villagers and illegal miners at the site. In 2008, more than 200 people were killed when security forces seized the Marange fields, according to the New York-based group. Zimbabwe’s government has rejected the accusations.

Anjin Investments Ltd., a Chinese company, is the top producer of diamonds in Zimbabwe, Chimanikire said.

Anjin, a unit of China’s state-owned Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Group Ltd., produces about 234,750 carats of diamonds a month from the Marange field, Chimanikire said. Mbada Mining Ltd. produces about 164,490 carats a month, followed by Marange Mineral Resources Ltd. with about 104,710 carats, he said. A carat is a fifth of a gram.

--Editors: Hilton Shone, Vernon Wessels

To contact the reporter on this story: Godfrey Marawanyika in Johannesburg at gmarawanyika@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net


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