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Zimbabwe Diamond Mine Anjin to Fire 190 Workers as Prices Slump

Anjin Investments Ltd., which mines diamonds in Zimbabwe’s eastern Marange fields, will fire almost a quarter of its 845-strong workforce because of falling prices and as it switches to underground operations.

“The slump in mineral price is the main reason” for cutting 190 jobs, Director Munyaradzi Machacha said in a phone interview. “The other issue is we are moving away from alluvial mining” to more more expensive underground operations. Machacha wouldn’t disclose Anjin’s sale prices, citing a company confidentiality policy.

The state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corp., which jointly owns the mine with Anjin of China, has five ventures in the Marange district. It is planning to sell diamonds from there before Dec. 20 or in January, according to the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, after the European Union on Sept. 24 ended sanctions against it.

The country is expected to mine 16.9 million carats this year, according to Mines Ministry estimates. Last year, the country produced 8 million carats, generating $685 million.

Anjin Investments is undertaking geological studies of the orebody, which is as deep as 40 meters, to determine the best mining method, Machacha said. “Within a couple of months we should be done.”

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