zimbabwe \to raise diamond mining fees\
Last Updated : GMT 16:22:18
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Zimbabwe \'to raise diamond mining fees\'

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Zimbabwe \'to raise diamond mining fees\'

Harare - AFP

Zimbabwe plans to increase diamond mining fees to up to $5.0 million, state media said on Friday, just one month after winning approval from the global \"blood diamond\" watchdog to export the gems. \"The period where foreign miners exploit our resources for next to nothing is over,\" Mines Minister Obert Mpofu said in the state-run The Herald newspaper. New miners will be charged a $5 million license fee. Existing miners will have to pay $1 million for a license to exploit diamonds. In February, Zimbabwe increased exploration fees for miners from $50,000 to $1 million. The new increases are of a similar magnitude. Mpofu said the new fees were agreed by President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, partners in a fractious unity government. In 2006, Zimbabwe discovered vast alluvial diamond fields in the eastern part of the country, touted as one of Africa\'s biggest diamond finds for decades. The country expects to rake in more than $600 million in diamond sales next year after the global diamond watchdog, Kimberley Process allowed firms in Marange to sell their gems after certifying that deadly violence by the army had ended. The decision by KP will allow two firms, state-owned Marange Resources and state joint venture Mbada Diamonds, to sell gems from Marange. Mining is the backbone of Zimbabwe\'s economy, after the collapse of commercial farming a decade ago in the wake of Mugabe\'s violent land reforms to resettle blacks on white-owned lands. The government is now targetting mines, banks and other foreign-owned businesses with equity regulations requiring them to cede 51 percent stakes to local blacks. Most mining houses are now in talks with the government on how to comply with the law.  

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