Zimbabwe, Russia pen diamond mining deal

BY XOLISANI NCUBE

President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday oversaw the signing of a memorandum of agreement between the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) and Alrosa Overseas of Russia to establish a joint venture partnership for diamond exploration, mining and marketing.

The deal is envisaged to help the country access advanced exploration and mining technology and technical capacity from Alrosa, a leading diamond mining company.

Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa told a post-Cabinet briefing yesterday that Zimbabwe was set to benefit from Alrosa’s investment across the entire
diamond value chain from exploration to sales and marketing.

Mutsvangwa said the partnership will help mitigate constraints in the Zimbabwe diamond sector, such as limited market development, diversity and depth; and
unlock the huge diamond sector potential and ensure the sector contributes significantly to the fiscus, foreign currency generation, job creation and general
economic development.

Alrosa has already advanced US$1,6 million for the operationalisation of the joint venture and pledged to avail more funding as equity for mining development
and equipment acquisition.

Cabinet also approved a proposal by Energy and Power Development minister Fortune Chasi to levy hotels in Victoria Falls their electricity tariffs in foreign
currency to ameliorate the situation on the power supply front.

“Cabinet resolved as follows: To endorse the arrangement whereby large hotels in the Victoria Falls resort town can pay their Zesa bills in foreign currency so
as to boost capacity to import power supplies; that a large scale programme be implemented to promote the importation, local production of solar equipment and
the use of solar power as an alternative energy source,” Mutsvangwa said.

“In this regard, special incentives shall be provided through duty waivers on imported solar equipment, while it shall be mandatory for all new construction
projects to be solar powered. Furthermore, Cabinet embraced the commitment by mining companies under the banner of the Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines to pay cost
recovery electricity.”

Meanwhile, Cabinet has approved the International Treaties Bill presented by Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister Ziyambi Ziyambi.

The Bill establishes a uniform procedure for the approval of international treaties by Cabinet and Parliament, and subsequent ratification by the President.

It provides a mechanism for the publication or notification of such treaties.

“This will ensure that international treaties, including those having far-reaching consequences on the country’s domestic laws, are concluded only after the
due notification of Parliament and the public,” Mutsvangwa added.

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