Zimbabwe has approved diamond exploration and mining licences for ALROSA and Anjin, the Chinese-owned firm that was already mining in the country’s Marange diamond fields before all diamond mining was nationalised in 2015 and brought under the state-owned Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC).
Despite having reportedly previously invited them to explore and mine diamonds in the country, Mines Minister Winston Chitando said in an interview that De Beers and Vast Resources had not been granted mining licences. De Beers had previously stated that it did not intend to mine in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe President Emerson Mnangagwa has reportedly been aligning the country more with Russia and China for economic investment as other international investors have raised concerns about the slow pace of economic reforms and the country’s deteriorating currency problems.
Mnangagwa’s spokesman George Charamba was quoted by state media as saying, “The President has put the Zimbabwean interest at the heart of exploitation of diamonds and only accepting foreign participation by way of selecting companies from Russia (ALROSA) and China (Anjin).”
The Chinese-owned Anjin, while it had previously been allowed to mine diamonds in Zimbabwe, had also been involved in several civil engineering projects including the construction of the Zimbabwe National Defence University, the Longcheng Plaza. It also owns two hotels called the Golden Peacock in Mutare and the Harare suburb of Borrowdale. It currently employs 150 personnel in Zimbabwe.