‘Introduction of mining exploration company a positive move’

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The introduction of a mining exploration company was a positive move that would save communities from evictions before ascertaining availability of the precious stones, a diamond sector official said on Thursday.

The Kimberley Process local focal point coordinator, Shamiso Mtisi, was supporting President Robert Mugabe’s address during the official opening of the Fourth Session of the Seventh Parliament, where he called for the establishment of the Mineral Exploration Company and crafting of a Diamond Act.

“There is need for government to plug leakages in terms of exploration in Marange because at the moment, we do not have a comprehensive geological survey of mineralisation of diamonds in Marange,” said Mtisi.

“The effect is that we can actually relocate people without having done relevant surveys to find out if the places where they live have diamonds.”

Mtisi said coming up with a company that enhanced exploration of minerals was commendable because in the past mining companies relied on trailing the footsteps of illegal miners as was witnessed in Marange.

“One of the key elements in the Kimberley Process is that Zimbabwe must identify where the diamonds are and that has not been done and it means Zimbabwe has not fulfilled that element. Coming up with a Diamond Act is very important and it has already been said by the Minister of Finance that we should come up with an Act that proffers issues of transparency and accountability in mining,” he said.

On Tuesday, President Mugabe said: “Work on the establishment of the Mineral Exploration Company to serve as a vehicle to spearhead exploration of the country’s minerals and maintain an inventory of the country’s mineral resource endowment is already in progress. Furthermore, government is working on a Diamond Mining Policy and a Diamond Bill, which will provide the necessary framework for the efficient and effective operation of this promising sub-sector.”