Zimbabwe Cancels ACR's Diamond Licence Again

The company had its licence cancelled in February but had been given up to March 10 to appeal, which the company did.

However on Friday, Mines Minister Obert Mpofu was quoted by the state-owned Herald saying he had decided to cancel the licence after considering the grounds of appeal by the company.

This came as President Robert Mugabe told his Zanu PF party’s central committee on Friday that the mining sector was too white dominated and there was serious need to change that.

“I hereby, in accordance with the provisions of Section 50 (4) and (5) of the Act give directions to you and the Secretary that the Certificates of Registration are to be cancelled. In cancelling the Certificates of Registration, no concession is made that the ACR certificates of registration were ever valid,” said the Minister. “The pegging of claims in a reserved area is simply a matter that the Secretary, vested as he is with the duty of overseeing the administration of the ministry, cannot ignore.

“I am satisfied that the grounds detailed in the notice of appeal do not warrant me exercising my discretion in favour of the ACR group in general and the ACR subsidiaries in particular in relation to the certificates of Registration,” he said.

In 2009 ACR and its four subsidiaries were given the green light to resume operations on their diamond claims in Chiadzwa in Manicaland after the High Court reversed the Government’s decision to cancel the mining consortium’s permit.

The court also ruled that 129 400 carats of diamonds which had been seized by police in 2007 be returned to ACR.The ruling by Justice Charles Hungwe came after ACR challenged the decision by the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development to cancel its permit in November 2006 and later seized its diamonds.

Justice Hungwe said the cancellation of the permits was unlawful.

Illegal mining has been taking place in Chiadzwa area with accusations that Zimbabwe security forces have been involved in selling and smuggling diamonds, along with human rights abuses.
 
The Kimberley Processes has requested the withdrawal of security forces, but it is not clear if it is taking place.
 
Jonathan Samkange, ACR’s lawyer has said in the past ACR will continue its legal fight to win back its mining rights.