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Zim says not acquiring stake in privately-owned kimberlite mine

21 march 2012

Zimbabwe has denied reports that it is set to acquire one of the country’s privately-owned kimberlite mines, River Ranch Diamond Mine.
“We have only read this in the local press and beyond this I have no knowledge of these discussions,” Mines deputy minister Gift Chimanikire told Rough&Polished.
Dubai-based Rani Investment was said to be negotiating with the Zimbabwe government on the possible sell of its shareholding in Limpopo Resources through which it owned the River Ranch Diamond Mine.
Rani’s efforts to recapitalise the mine, through input from the minority shareholders, had failed in the past few months and was now keen to exit the diamond business to focus on tourism and hospitality.
Rio Tinto’s Murowa Diamonds was the other kimberlite mine in the southern African country.
The government had no interest in the operations, although they were set to be affected by the country’s indigenisation policy that compels foreign owned firms, including mines to surrender  51 percent shareholding to native blacks.
The state-owned Zimbabwe Minerals Development Corporation only had interests in companies operating in Marange diamond fields.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Rough&Polished, from Zimbabwe