About Mbada’s Operations
- The Reclam Group’s Chairman, Mr. David Kassel, is leading the Grandwell investment into Mbada on account of his previous experience in the mining industry. He was responsible for the re-opening of the Roberts Victor Diamond Mine in Kimberley and the Monarch Gold Mine in Botswana.
- The Reclam Group has demonstrated its ability and expertise in mining by the fact that in its first four months of operation, Mbada has constructed and fully commissioned its state-of-the-art diamond mining plant. The industry norm for an exercise of this magnitude is approximately four years. Since its commissioning in December 2009, the plant has been operating well and has produced more than two million carats.
- The processing plant is fully “hands-free” with the diamonds recovered into lock boxes.
- A 15.4km pipeline has been laid from the Odzi River to supply the water needs of the plant.
- Mbada is currently in the process of constructing a 1.2km long runway for the sole purpose of landing a light aircraft to facilitate the secure transportation of diamonds in compliance with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. In the interim, a helicopter is being used for this purpose.
- The lock boxes are transported by air to a secure facility at Harare Airport for sorting, evaluation and sale.
- The Concession Area’s perimeter, as well as internal zones, has been completely fenced. The security measures to eliminate illegal access to the area and potential smuggling of diamonds includes a 200 person private security force, X-ray scanners, infra-red cameras and dog and vehicle patrols.
- Mbada’s operational headquarters are situated in Harare.
- The operation has already created employment for approximately 400 people.
- Mbada is committed to the environment and health and safety at its operations. It practices and pursues high standards in order to improve the safety and health of its employees and to protect the environment. Mbada’s operation has the approval of the Environmental Management Agency (“EMA”) of Zimbabwe.
- Wide consultation with the traditional leaders and community elders of the surrounding villages was entered into, prior to commencement of operations.
- Please click here to view pictures of Mbada’s operations
- Please click here to view video footage of Mbada's operations
Benefits to the people of Zimbabwe
- The financial and social contribution to Zimbabwe of the joint venture was acknowledged in the Budget Speech of 2 December 2009.
- These include foreign investment, employment creation and skills transfer.
- Zimbabwe will retain approximately 62% of the revenues derived from the diamonds’ sales in the form of royalties, resource depletion fees, taxes and the government’s 50% equity interest in the joint venture.
- Based on the current levels of production, the Mbada joint venture will provide sufficient income to fund a significant portion of Zimbabwe’s national budget.
- Mbada has committed to providing capital for social projects such as schools and hospitals as well as for the relocation of affected communities, which has already commenced.
- Surrounding villages have benefitted from access to piped water.
- Seeds and fertilizers have been provided to surrounding communities to assist in farming.
- Mbada Diamonds National CSR Report (Click here to view the report)
About the Kimberley Process
- The Kimberley Process is a global body created to curb trade in diamonds sold to fund conflict. The association is voluntary and applicable to countries rather than organisations.
- Zimbabwe is a member of the Kimberley Process.
- In November 2009, a joint work plan was agreed to ensure that all aspects of the Kimberley Process were adhered to in relation to Marange.
- Recommendations included the establishment of adequate security infrastructure, the installation of a hands-free processing plant and the installation of physical security measures in order to ensure a secure channel for the diamonds from point of mining to sale.
- The Government of Zimbabwe identified an independent and reputable company, Global Diamond Valuators (“GDV”), to audit and assist Zimbabwe where necessary to ensure adherence to the Kimberley Process across all Zimbabwean diamond-mining operations. The evaluators from GDV visited Mbada’s operations on two occasions.
- Abbey Chikane, the head of the South African Diamond Board and a former chairman of the Kimberley Process has been confirmed as a Kimberley Process monitor for the eastern diamond fields.
- Chikane returned to Zimbabwe on 24 May 2010 for a follow up visit after his previous fact finding mission in March. Chikane visited the Chiadzwa diamond fields and expressed his satisfaction regarding compliance with minimum KP requirements. A written report concluding that “Zimbabwe has satisfied minimum requirements of the KPCS for trade in rough diamonds” was published (Click here to view the full report).
- The findings of the report were presented by Chikane to the Kimberley Process Intersessional Meeting, which took place in Tel Aviv from 21 – 24 June 2010 (Click here to view a transcript of Chikane’s speech).
- At the meeting, there was overwhelming support for Zimbabwe from the majority of the member participants including South Africa, Botswana, Angola, India, China, Russia, Namibia, Central African Republic and DRC.
- All the members with the exception of the United States, Canada and Australia were in favour of Zimbabwe resuming the export of diamonds from Marange. However, as the Kimberley Process requires a consensus to be reached, no decision could be made despite the overwhelming majority of support.
- Talks to reach a solution resumed on 14 – 15 July 2010 at a mini-summit of major stakeholders in St Petersburg, Russia. At the meeting, the Kimberley Process reached consensus on an agreement that will enable the renewal of diamond exports from the Marange diamond fields (Click here to view the press release)
- In compliance with the St Petersburg agreement, Abbey Chikane returned to Zimbabwe on 8 August 2010 and certified the first lots of Mbada diamonds as KP compliant.
- A further lot of Mbada diamonds was certified as being KP compliant by the monitor Abbey Chikane in September 2010 in accordance with the St Petersburg agreement.
- On 1 November 2011 agreement was reached at the Kimberley Process Plenary Meeting which will enable the immediate export of rough diamonds by Mbada. (Click here to view the World Diamond Council communication)