The Supreme Court has ordered Marange Resources and the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) to apply for renewal licence for Mbada Diamonds, which would enable it to resume operations, as the mining project was terminated illegally.
In a ruling issued on Tuesday, the apex appeal court stated that Marange Resources, a state linked company and ZMDC should apply for renewal of the mining licence on behalf of Mbada Diamonds to the Mines and Mining Development permanent secretary in line with the special grant agreement signed between the parties in 2008.
Under the agreement, Marange committed to pay all necessary fees and make application for the renewal and/or continued existence and do all that may be necessary so as to ensure that the grant was in good standing and remain valid for the duration of this agreement allowing Marange to mine and prospect the concession areas in perpetuity”.
Thembinkosi Magwaliba, the lawyer representing Mbada Diamonds confirmed to The Anchor that the Court instructed the two state-linked firms to apply for the renewal of the licence in line with the agreement.
“The court has stated that ZMDC and Marange must reapply for the mining licence on behalf of Grandwell Holdings, the major shareholders in Mbada Diamonds. From there, if the secretary for Mines accepts the application, it means that the company (Mbada Diamonds) would return to the mine field,” Magwaliba said.
The Special Grant expired in 2013 but Government did not renew it alongside other companies operating in Chiadzwa, Marange.
Diamond mining companies were dramatically evicted from the Marange area of Manicaland in 2016. In February of 2016, government gave all the diamond mining companies a 90-day ultimatum to remove their equipment after ordering them to halt operations with immediate effect.
The diamond companies had rejected a proposal to amalgamate them into the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC).
The mining companies, including Anjin Investments, Diamond Mining Company, Jinan, Kusena, Marange Resources and Mbada Diamonds, were told that their licences to mine in Marange had expired.
According to the ruling, Marange Resources (PVT) Ltd and Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company were supposed to facilitate that Grandwell (PVT) Ltd be licenced through the institution of action to protect the rights of Mbada Diamonds (PVT) Ltd at its Marange concession.