Russian diamond miner Alrosa, which will be assessing the quality of Zimbabwe’s diamond reserves over the next six months, wants a majority stake to mine diamonds in the southern African country, according to a news report.
Zimbabwe had selected Alrosa and China’s Anjin Investments to partner its state diamond company.
“Of course we’ll only be ready to participate in projects in cases where we can have management control and operational control of the assets,” Reuters quoted Alrosa chief executive Sergey Ivanov as saying.
Zimbabwe finance minister Mthuli Ncube recently said that Harare was set to drop an empowerment rule requiring local investors to control diamond and platinum mines as it was hampering foreign direct investment.
The country revised the empowerment law in March 2018, but limited majority ownership by locals and State-owned companies to only diamond and platinum mines.
Zimbabwe was battling to re-boot the economy that crumbled under the long rule of Robert Mugabe, who was forced to resign in a bloodless coup in November 2017.
Alrosa, the biggest diamond producer by volume, was expanding in Africa, where Zimbabwe and Angola remain under-explored.