HARARE, Zimbabwe, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe on Monday ordered the expulsion of eight foreign diamond mining companies and turned over all mining operations to the newly formed, government-run Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Co.
Several companies abandoned their equipment, including: Anjin Investments Ltd., the Diamond Mining Co., Jinan Mining Ltd., Kusena Diamonds, Marange Resources Ltd. and Mbada Diamonds. These organizations were invited to nationalize their assets but they chose to stay as private entities and give up whatever little political capital was built up.
"Since they no longer hold any mining titles, these companies were notified this morning to cease all mining with immediate effect," Zimbabwe Mines Minister Walter Chidakwa said.
Zimbabwe ranked ninth in total diamond output in the world with 4.7 million carats in 2014, according to the fourth annual report on the global diamond industry prepared by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre and Bain & Co. Last year, Zimbabwe's production fell by 1.6 million carats and the government received $23 million in royalties and other fees from diamond mines, down from $84 million in 2014.