A clash is looming between Core Mining South Africa and the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) over a stockpile of diamonds mined by Canadile Miners with the former calling on prospective buyers to exercise caution when dealing with Marange gemstones.
In a statement issued at the weekend, the Johannesburg-based company warned that it would “exercise its full rights by any means possible on any Canadile Miners’ diamonds commercialised or misappropriated”.
Core Mining said it had received repeated evidence that prospective diamond buyers had been approached by ZMDC with specific offers for Canadile diamonds.
“This would not only be in breach of pending KP (Kimberley Process) resolutions, but would also be a clear breach of Core Mining’s ownership rights to the existing and future diamond stockpile,” the company said in a statement.
A fortnight ago embattled Core Mining director Lovemore Kurotwi filed an urgent application at the High Court in Harare to prevent Canadile’s diamond stockpile being sold without the company approval.
Mystery surrounds the whereabouts of 1,7 million carats of diamonds worth an estimated $80 million mined by Canadile Miners in Chiadzwa during the joint venture between ZMDC and Core Mining.
The stockpile of diamonds in question was allegedly moved from Canadile Miners’ sorting house in Mutare to an unknown destination a fortnight ago.
Core Mining accuses ZMDC of making a series of unilateral moves by taking over the effective running of the Canadile mining operations, excluding Canadile management from daily operations and control, blocking access for Core Mining shareholders to the country and by appropriating the entire diamond stock of Canadile Miners.
In his urgent chamber application, Kurotwi is seeking to have Canadile Miners control its assets and mining operations in Chiadzwa.
He is also seeking to have the court to declare valid and subsisting the shareholding agreement between Marange Resources and Core Mining, but ZMDC chairperson Godwills Masimirembwa has denied the existence of such an agreement.
“We therefore wish to make a formal warning to all relevant parties in the diamond sector to exercise maximum caution on the provenance of Marange diamonds, as Core Mining will exercise its full rights by any means possible on any Canadile Miners’ diamonds commercialised or misappropriated at this specific juncture.”
ZMDC and Core Mining are in a 50% shareholding of Canadile Miners.
Six ZMDC and Canadile executives were arrested in November for allegedly misrepresenting facts in order to be awarded the diamond mining licence.
Core Mining expressed hope that all parties involved would come to an agreement as soon as possible, allowing normal activities to be resumed.