De Beers, which is gearing itself up for diamond exploration in South Africa, will consider expanding its search for the precious stones into Zimbabwe, decades after declaring that there were no diamonds in the Southern Africa country, according to a news agency.
Bloomberg quoted De Beers’ South African unit chief executive Phillip Barton as saying that he was “excited” about what was happening in Zimbabwe.
The elbowing out of President Robert Mugabe by his protégé Emmerson Mnangagwa through a defacto military coup late last year led to a breath of fresh air with the new administration undoing economic policies that kept investors outside the Zimbabwean borders.
“If we get licences, we would have a further look,” Barton was quoted as saying.
De Beers was said to have gained 16 exploration licenses in Northern Cape province and wants to extend searches to Free State, North West and Limpopo.
Barton said it was “natural” to look into nearby Zimbabwe.
“We have Venetia mine that’s literally 20 kilometers from the Zimbabwe border,” he said.
“Why would it be just on the one side?”
De Beers started exploration work in Zimbabwe in 1993 but later left after forfeiting its Marange claims.
Meanwhile, De Beers was considering seeking exploration licenses in Congo if the legal situation improves, as well as adding another ship to its fleet of five looking for marine deposits off Namibia, according to Bloomberg.