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Zimbabwe to allow two new companies to mine diamonds

Reuters  |  HARARE 

(Reuters) - will now allow two more private companies to explore and mine diamonds in the country, bringing to four the number of firms that will operate in the sector, has said.

Last week Chitando said the country did not plan to change its ownership rules for diamonds and platinum, denting hopes among some miners the country will open up ownership as it announces mineral frameworks in coming weeks. [nL8N1Y137F]

In a video posted on the official page on Tuesday, Chitando told reporters that cabinet had adopted a new policy that would see two more private companies being allowed to explore and mine diamonds.

Chitando did not name the two new firms.

He said any company or person with title for diamonds would have to go into partnership with the four companies.

The largest fields are in in eastern Zimbabwe, where production is dominated by the state-owned Consolidated Diamond Company. It is expected to produce 3.5 million carats this year, up from 2.5 million in 2017.

Murowa Diamonds, formerly majority-owned by until June 2015, is the only private company diamonds in south central

"Four is a number which was felt that it would give government and all stakeholders the effective monitoring of what is happening on the ground," Chitando said.

London-listed and have previously said they are planning to mine diamonds in in partnership with a local community trust.

In early 2016, evicted all diamond firms, including two Chinese joint venture companies from Marange, saying their licences had expired after they declined to merge under the state-owned firm.

(Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by James Macharia)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, December 05 2018. 14:11 IST