The Zimbabwean government has “bowed to pressure from Beijing” to allow Anjin Investment, a partly Chinese-owned diamond mining firm, to resume mining operations in Marange, according to NewsDay.
Anjin and other diamond companies were elbowed out of the vast diamond mining fields in 2016 by former President Robert Mugabe’s government following allegations of looting.
Harare then established the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) to take over their Marange claims, but Anjin and Mbada Diamonds challenged the move in court, albeit with no success.
Anjin was jointly owned by Chinese companies Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Company and Matt Bronze — an investment arm of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.
However, things appeared to have changed for better in Anjin’s business with the coming in of a new administration, which has former army bosses as ministers and vice president.
NewsDay quoted unnamed government sources as saying that Anjin’s licence was restored following intense pressure from Beijing, and operations at the miner’s Marange claim would resume soon.
Centre for Natural Resources Governance (CNG) director Farai Maguwu said the return of Anjin was a sad development.
“Yes, I am aware and they were seen loitering in Marange barely two weeks after (President Emmerson) Mnangagwa took over the reins of power (in November last year),” he was quoted as saying.
“It is sad that a company that was accused by former Finance minister Tendai Biti for not remitting anything to Treasury has been re-engaged to continue looting.”