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BOD finally gets Marange Diamonds Fields

Publishing Date : 08 October, 2018

Author : TSAONE SEGAETSHO

Botswana Diamonds, the Botswana Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange, has concluded an agreement with another London listed entity, Vast Resources, for the development of their concessions in the prolific but controversial Marange Diamond Fields (MDF) of eastern Zimbabwe.


The Marange diamond fields, considered the largest find in the world, have been marred in controversies ranging from environment degradation, looting and human rights abuses. The international community stopped short of labeling the Marange diamonds blood or conflict diamonds. In 2008 the Human Rights Watch found out that there was used of forced child labour by armed forces at Marange while during the same year 200 people from the Chiadzwa died at the hands of armed forced.


In a previous interview with BusinessPost, BOD Managing Director James Campbell said that even though he is aware that Vast Resources is treading into Zimbabwe’s controversial fields, he is unperturbed. Campbell explained that this is because he trusts the new regime under Zimbabwe President Emerson Mnangagwa.


Vast is a mining and resource development company. A separate agreement will cover the joint development of diamond properties outside of the MDF, which will be a straightforward 50/50 joint venture, though the initial focus of the joint work is on Marange joint. 


In a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in May 2018, which has now matured into an agreement on the Marange fields, including:  A Special Purpose Vehicle (‘SPV’) between BOD and Vast to develop diamond resources in the MDF; Initial shareholdings will be BOD - 13.33% and Vast - 86.67%; Vast will contribute up to US$1 million as initial funding; If any additional funds are required, this will be via an equity raise; and BOD and Vast may contribute to any future equity raise on a pro rata basis. If either party does not take up its allocation, the other may. Further announcements will be made as appropriate.


BOD has revealed that its next step is a desktop review, which is now underway and esults will be announced shortly.  “I am delighted that we have concluded terms with Vast on developing their concessions within the prolific Marange Diamond Fields. We look forward to working with them to realise the full potential of this prospective area and others, as they emerge, with Zimbabwe opening up further for two businesses. Work on the initial due diligence is far advanced and we look forward to providing further updates to the market in due course,” said BOD Chairman John Teeling.

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