Ban on Mbada stays: High Court

Ban on Mbada stays: High Court

The High Court yesterday barred Mbada Diamonds from carrying out any mining operations in Chiadzwa without authority, saying allowing the firm to resume extraction of the gems amounted to sanctioning illegality.

Justice Joseph Martin Mafusire, however, condemned the eviction on February 22 of Mbada from its Chiadzwa mining claim without securing its assets.

He allowed Mbada to remain at the mining site for purposes of securing its assets until “such time that the validity of such Special Grants has been regularised in accordance with the law”.

“In casu, to allow Mbada to resume mining operations as before, when the right to do so expired, is to sanction an illegality,” ruled Justice Mafusire. “That, in my view, is contrary to public policy.”

The ruling follows an urgent application by Mauritius-registered Grandwell Holdings, which has a 50 percent controlling stake in Mbada Diamonds (Private) Limited, contesting the eviction.

It sought a spoliation order (status quo).

Mbada is the offspring of a marriage between Grandwell Holdings and Marange Resources.

Marange Resources is wholly owned by Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation.

Mbada has been extracting diamonds at Chiadzwa over the past seven years.

While Grandwell entered into a number of joint ventures with several foreign investors, the Government was getting little or no remittances.

To rectify this, Government crafted a policy to merge all the diamond mining companies at Chiadzwa into a single entity.

This resulted in the creation of the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), a special purpose vehicle for the new venture.

 

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