“Only government will mine diamonds,” Mugabe said on state television, adding that diamonds will fall into a “special category,” Bloomberg quoted. The president then accused the mining companies who currently operate in the country of selling their diamonds illegally.
On December 7, the Zimbabwean government evicted African Consolidated Resources (ACR) from Marange after thousands of illegal diggers descended on the area and started digging following the diamond find. The area has now been cordoned off and handed to the state-run Zimbabwe Mining Development Corp.
ACR, which is challenging the eviction, had formed alliances with government ministers and officials, Mugabe was quoted as saying.
``Government ministers and members of the politburo joined ACR, but we said no to that company,'' he said.
De Beers, the world's biggest diamond company, discovered the Marange deposit and passed it on to African Consolidated, Mugabe was quoted as saying.
``If the state takeover of diamond mines is passed into law, it will destroy diamond exploration in this country,'' Andrew Cranswick, CEO of ACR was quoted by Bloomberg as saying.
Zimbabwe has two diamond producing mines, namely the Rio Tinto and Riozim owned Murowa and River Ranch which is owned by private investors.
But Zimbabwean miners have seen this coming as the ageing leader has repeatedly warned them of looming mass nationalisation of mining operations....
Over 28,000 people have been arrested on charges of illegal diamond and gold mining in an operation dubbed Chokorokoza Chapera (No Illegal Panning), which started in mid-November to curb the country of illegal mining activities as the
Indeed, the inflation/currancy problems led to the inability to get spare parts or pay miners, so gold output last year fell.
But the linked article shows another “cleanup” that should please the ecology minded, but is another terrible blow to poor people at the bottom of the heap: it notes “Over 28,000 people have been arrested on charges of illegal diamond and gold mining in an operation dubbed Chokorokoza Chapera (No Illegal Panning), which started in mid-November to curb the country of illegal mining activities as the country.’
.Miners dig for diamonds in Marange, Zimbabwe (file picture)
Oh yes. Just like illegal vendors and unclean/unsafe slum housing were cleaned up with “operation cleanup”, the pollution/ecological degradation from these small panning/mining is terrible. But in a country with 80% unemployment, and 1600% inflation, some people see it as the only way to feed their famiies, explains the BBC .
Now, here in the Philippines, illegal logging has led to terrible ecological problems, but on the other hand, if you are poor, you are more worried about feeding your family today than if your grandchildren will have mudslides and ugly landscapes to cope with.
So the slide of Zimbabwe from a showcase of prosperity into another Marxist showcase of how to wreck an economy continues.
And since Mugabe, the president, is a revolutionary hero, South Africa and other African countries oppose any intervention by the UK to stop the tyranny.
crossposted to Bloggernewsnet