Rio Tinto has sold its 78-percent stake in the Murowa diamond mine in Zimbabwe, a seeming response to the government’s desire to consolidate its diamond resources.
The buyer is RZ Murowa Holdings Ltd., a division of RioZim Ltd., which already holds a 22 percent interest in Murowa Diamonds. Rio also sold its 50 percent stake in the Sengwa coal project to RioZim, which owns the rest. RioZim will now manage both mines.
In March, the government announced it planned to take control of the mine. The company’s statement said only that it believes “the future of these assets can be best managed by companies with existing interest in Zimbabwe.”
Alan Davies, CEO of Rio Tinto Diamonds & Minerals, said in a statement: “Rio Tinto remains committed to the diamond industry and is focused on operating its two world-class underground mines while obtaining the approvals for its advanced diamond project in India.”
The Murowa mine produces about 400,000 cts. a year of larger white gem diamonds.