One of Zimbabwe’s biggest diamond miner, Mirowa Mine, Tuesday announced it planned to invest US$300 million to increase output.
Mine managing director Niels Kristensen said annual production would rise seven times from the current 300,000 carats after the investment.
The mine, located in central Zimbabwe, is the country’s second largest diamond p roducer, and is majority-owned by international resources giant, Rio Tinto.
”That project is very exciting. The benefit to Zimbabwe on this major project i s very significant because downstream industries will also benefit. It has a multiplier effect in that local suppliers will benefit, we will increas e our community assistance and government will also benefit in royalties and taxes,” Kristensen said.
He said the company would court foreign investors to partner it for the expansio n project, but did not give details.
The official also said Murowa Mine was talking to government to agree on the lat ter’s threats to seize controlling stakes in all foreign-owned businesses operating in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwean authorities have announced plans to seize 51 percent shareholding in foreign companies as part of an economic empowerment drive.
Rio Tinto owns 78 percent of Murowa Mine, with the balance controlled by a conso rtium of local businessmen.