The withdrawal by Sino Zim comes weeks after the company started retrenching employees from its employ. Gift Chimanikire, deputy mines minister confirmed that Sino-Zim is withdrawing.
“I spoke to the chairman of ZMDC and he confirms that Sino-Zim is pulling out of Marange because of low resources with immediate effect,” Chimanikire said.
“However, he also informs me that there is another company which wants to move into that area which Sino-Zim is pulling out.”
Chimanikire could not be drawn into revealing the name of the firm saying he was yet to be briefed. Official sources said the withdrawal by Sino-Zim was not surprising given that the gems which used to be easily scooped were no longer easily available.
The sources said the companies operating in Marange were now resorting to open cast mining. Chimanikire said he has since asked for directors in the ministry to prepare a report on the state of operations in Chiadzwa and the issue of viability.
“I have since asked directors at the ministry to prepare a report on the state of operations at Marange. Right now we do not know the quantity and availability of the diamonds there,” he said.
There are five registered companies in Marange, but only three are operational.Chiadzwa has attracted international attention with its so called ‘blood diamonds ’ which are at the centre of a row between the government and human rights organizations.Human rights activists accuse soldiers protecting the diamond fields of committing serious crimes against the local population including murder of villagers.