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21 Jan 2021

Kenneth Matimaire, Zimbabwe Independent

Zimbabwe: Chinese and military owned diamond firm scores richest claim to diamonds under unclear circumstances

‘Army-Linked Anjin Grabs Richest Diamond Claim’ 15 January 2021

An army-linked miner, Anjin Investments (Pvt) Ltd, grabbed the most lucrative diamond claim in Marange from a firm owned by the government after being relicensed under unclear circumstances, it has emerged. Investigations carried out with support from Information for Development Trust, a non-profit organisation helping journalists to expose corruption and bad governance, established that Anjin has effectively taken over Portal B, a diamond-rich zone in Marange that was being mined by the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), a government outfit set up in 2016. The ZCDC was established as a merger of DTZ-OZGEO, Marange Resources, Kusena Diamonds, Diamond Mining Company and Gye Nyame, when Anjin and several other diamond miners were de-licensed by the government and barred from operating in Marange, in Manicaland province, for alleged impropriety. The de-licensing occurred during the rule of the late Robert Mugabe, who was deposed through a military-assisted takeover in November 2017.

… In 2012, the US Office of Foreign Assets Control accused Anjin of "smuggling" 3,7 million carats of diamonds to Shanghai, but the company argued that the shipments to China were government-sanctioned. Anjin went back to the Marange fields in March 2019, three years after its special grants 4765 and 5247 were revoked, and its return has been seen as a flawed act meant to give an under-funded army the opportunity to finance its operations. "It's clear that there is a military hand behind the return of Anjin to Chiadzwa," said the Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG) director, Farai Maguwu, whose organisation fights for transparency and accountability in the mining sector. Anjin remains a jointly owned company between Matt Bronze Enterprises, a special purpose vehicle owned by the Zimbabwean army, and the Chinese investor Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Company, which also owns Jinan Mining.

… But investigations show that the Anjin return possibly broke the law and undermined public investments in the diamond sector through ZCDC. Anjin, it was found out, regained access to its old claims in the Charasika and Jesse areas that fall under portals C and L2, and measure a combined 4 846 hectares ZCDC used to operate in portals A and B but was later directed by the Mines ministry to withdraw from the latter to make way for Anjin, while villagers under Portal Q accused the army-linked venture of encroaching into their settlements without notice. According to the ZCDC annual report for 2017, the diamondiferous Portal B produced 1,2 million of the combined 1,8 million carat output. Portal A produced 462 334 carats, followed by Portal E's 57 847 and then Portal Q's 43 248.