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Zimbabwe to nationalize its alluvial diamond mines

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Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe (seen here) and his joint government with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai have announced they intend to take over 100 per cent ownership of the country’s alluvial diamond mines.

Zimbabwe’s state-controlled newspaper is reporting the government plans to take 100 per cent ownership in all alluvial diamond mines, including the controversial Marange fields.

Additionally, the Herald says the unity government of President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai will own a 51 per cent share in all other mining projects.

In March, the government announced its Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act, which dictates foreign-owned companies operating in Zimbabwe valued at more than $500,000 sell at least 51 per cent of their shares to indigenous black Zimbabweans.

It’s not clear how the new rules affect existing mining projects. Anglo Platinum, Impala Platinum Holdings, and Rio Tinto all operate mines in Zimbabwe.

According to the Herald, government officials reiterated their position Zimbabweans must benefit from the country’s natural resources and 10 per cent of gross profit from mining operations go to local communities.

Meanwhile, the trade of Marange diamonds remains officially suspended while the Kimberley Process (KP) and Zimbabwe government officials review a tentative agreement to allow exports.

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