Marange Resources has appointed Tshinga Dube, a former chief executive of the Zimbabwe Defense Industries (ZDI), as its chairperson, with immediate effect.
A Russian trained former soldier, Dube is a senior ZANU-PF politician and is a member of the party’s supreme decision-making body between congresses. He is also the director of several non-listed companies, according to the Financial Gazette.
Dube is not new to mining, although his past involvement in the sector was restricted to an advisory role where he served as a board member of the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) for eight years.
“Given the important role diamonds are going to play in reviving our economy, I consider this appointment to be an important national responsibility which I shall try to execute diligently with my colleagues and my seniors,” Dube told the Financial Gazette.
Marange Resources is owned by the ZMDC and operates one of four concessions mining at Zimbabwe’s Marange fields.
Separately, Zimbabwe’s finance minister Tendai Biti said that the country needs to set up a sovereign wealth fund for revenue generated from its Marange diamond fields, Bloomberg reported. He noted that it is not proper for ZMDC to manage the country’s diamond resources.
“It’s quite clear that we urgently need a new diamond act,” Biti told Bloomberg. “This act would establish a stand-alone diamond agency.”
Biti indicated that there is a clear gap between diamonds being sold and the amount of money reaching the government. He noted that the ZMDC has registered only 45 million carats, which is a “minute” amount in relation to the size of the mining operation. According to Biti, the country needs to set up a diamond exploration company and a stand- alone diamond agency that will help market the stones.
Biti said that Zimbabwe could raise $200 million for its wealth fund from the sale of diamonds which is projected to reach $700 million in 2012.