MUTARE– A joint venture deal between Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company and a United Kingdom based firm Vast Resources has been delayed due to the declaration of the 21 day lockdown.
The deal described as historic by ZCDC acting chief executive Roberto De Pretto, is a back to back joint venture where the community joins with Vast Resources to create Katanga Resources which in turn signs with ZCDC.
Through this arrangement the community will have direct shares in the company and be eligible to get direct dividends from diamond mining.
“Chiadzwa community signed an agreement with VAST Resources, they formed a new entity called Katanga Resources which then came to ZCDC and we signed an agreement with them so it’s a back to back arrangement.
“We have one to one with Katanga and what is exciting about this arrangement is that it is the first time in the history of Zimbabwe that a community will have a shareholding in a mining company, we are pioneering something which has never been done before.
“There has always been trust funds or trust deeds but now they are shareholders owning a piece of the company we are so excited about this development what we are hoping for now is the acceleration of the final deal,” said DePreto.
However, Vast Resources in communique on its company website notified impending delays in the finalization of the project, which has attracted its fair share of criticism from the civil society organisations working on natural resources and extractives.
“Vast Resources plc, the AIM-listed mining company, notes that its announcement of 3 March 2020 confirmed that it had received official communication that all internal processes leading to the conclusion to the Chiadzwa Community Joint Venture were expected to be finalized during March, and the Company’s announcement of 23 March 2020 confirmed this expectation.
“Following the 23 March 2020 announcement the Zimbabwe Government declared a 21 day lockdown in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic commencing on 30 March 2020.
“As a result of this the finalization process was not completed in March, but finalization remains expected to complete shortly. Further announcements will be made as the situation develops,” said Vast Resources.