Work hard and you will find success

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ACR in Diamond Dispute with the Zimbabwe Government

19 may 2009

The Zimbabwean reports that the African Consolidated Resources (ACR) mineral exploration company has taken the Zimbabwe government to court, challenging the Zimbabwe government’s decision to repossess a 200 acre diamond claim at Chiadzwa, Manicaland and award it to the state-owned Zimbabwe Minerals Development Corporation (ZMDC).
ACR has asked the High Court to restore its claim and bar the government from interfering with its operations, according to
Zimbabwe’s Mines Minister Obert Mpofu informed the parliament last week that ACR had taken the case to court, but the government will oppose its application because ACR’s procedure when setting diamond mining claims was “irregular and illegal.”
According to the minister, the mining claims were defined inside an existing exclusive prospecting order area belonging to the De Beers diamond mining firm.
The Zimbabwean quotes Mpofu: “Pegging of most of ACR claims was illegal in terms of Section 372 of the Mines and Minerals Act because they intentionally pegged on ground which was not open to prospecting. ARC claims were cancelled in terms of Section 50 of the Mines and Minerals Act of January 5 2007.”
The claims were therefore cancelled and the concession was awarded to the ZMDC under special grants.
Mpofu added: “We are speaking about national resources, which are resources of the entire nation. As the Prime Minister (Morgan Tsvangirai) has constantly said we need to exploit those resources sustainably and for the benefit of the nation. I am disturbed about those who worry about people who have been speculating on the resources for a long time without benefiting the people or even the constituency and we as the government are going to do that.”
The minister denied reports that that 83 diamond diamond panners were killed by a joint army and police force and buried in two mass graves in Dangamvura, Harare in 2008.
According to reports, the Zimbabwe government last year unleashed soldiers and the police to end diamond panning in Chiadzwa and the Marange diamond fields. Human rights organizations claimed that over 200 panners were killed during the operation.
Mpofu stated that the government is committed to the turnaround of the mining sector. He expressed his conviction that the economic and social-political reforms currently in the process of implementation are anticipated to mend the country’s operating environment, which is important to the success of the mining sector. He added that considerable effort is being invested in trying to lure investors back into the country’s diamond mining sector.