The Herald (Harare)

7 May 2014

Zimbabwe: U.S$13,5 Million Paid to Diamond Firms

Photo: Denford Magora
Marange Diamond Fields in Zimbabwe.

ABOUT $13,5 million has been paid to local diamond companies whose gems were auctioned at the Dubai Stock Exchange in March this year, a senior official has said. Only three out of seven diamond miners have been fully paid while the others are yet to receive their full payments due to "logistical challenges" that affected the firm that facilitated the sale of about 400 000 carats on behalf of the Government, Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa told The Herald Business.

The sale realised about $30 million, but there are challenges in redeeming all the money. Of the companies that were fully paid up DMC received $2,7 million, DTZ-OZGEO, $845 486 and Kusena got $60 563. Anjin was partly paid $9,8 million. Those still owed are Marange Resources, $4,35 million, Mbada Diamonds, $2,67 million and Jinan $ 8,8 million.

"I can confirm that DMC, a small consignment of Kusena, DTZ-OZGEO were paid for," said the minister.

"Anjin received a part payment while the rest are yet to be paid. There were logistical challenges in respect of Marange, Mbada Diamonds and Jinan. One would not have expected these problems because we have used Dubai since 2007 and we have not had any payment problems to any one of our diamond companies.

"The expectation was that payments were supposed to be done within the first week of April.

"I understand that somewhere along the lines in respect of Marange Resources and perhaps Mbada, the facilitating company was forced to open alternative bank accounts in order to facilitate the movement of the funds and that was subsequently done and I understand that they will now be transferring the payments to various companies."

Permanent secretary in the Ministry professor Francis Gudyanga said the Government has taken up the matter with facilitator to look into what has caused the delay.

"We intend to ensure that when we choose our next facilitator and after evaluation we will be informed as to whether this particular facilitator can still be used or not. Our team in Dubai will give recommendations whether the same facilitator can still be used again," he said.

The Government is in the process of breaking down the sales system built in the last five years, to replace it with something that generates maximum revenue for the fiscus.

Apart from Dubai, Zimbabwe has also conducted two auctions at Antwerp in December and in February, realising $10,5 million from sales of 279 723 carats and $70 million from 959 931 carats.

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