Godwills Masimirembwa, the ZMDC chairman told Standardbusiness in an interview last week that Sino-Zimbabwe had joined Anjin, another Chinese company already in Chiadzwa prospecting for diamonds.
A third company, Pure Dian from the United Arab Emirates, was also granted a license to join Mbada and Marange Resources, which already run mines in the area in partnership with the ZMDC.
“Currently there are only two companies which are mining, that is Mbada and Marange,” he said.
“The other three, which are Sino-Zimbabwe, Anjin and Pure Dian, are carrying out exploration though they have the licenses.”
Masimirembwa said the ZMDC continued to receive a flurry of applications from both local and foreign investors who wanted licences to start mining operations in Chiadzwa.
“We have more than 150 applications for mining licences from potential investors and this shows that as Zimbabwe, we have the resources and we have the capability of growing economically,” he said.
“Financial and technical capacity are some of the conditions that determine the approval of a mining licence but it’s not an easy road.”
Masimirembwa said under normal circumstances, the sale of diamonds from Chiadzwa could rake in US$85 million a month but only US$20 million was being realised because of sanctions.
“The production of diamonds is under very difficult circumstances and the sale of the mineral is at a very slow pace, which is not good for the economy,” he said.
ZMDC is currently under pressure to account for proceeds from diamond sales after Finance minister Tendai Biti indicated that most of the money was not reaching government coffers.
Masimirembwa and Zanu PF symphathisers have in turn accused Biti of trying to expose how Zimbabwe evades Western sanctions.