Core drags Marange to arbitrator

HARARE - Core Mining has dragged ex-diamond mining partner, Marange Resources, to an arbitrator challenging the seizure of its shareholding rights in a joint venture company Canadile, now operating as Marange Resources (Marange).

Government through Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) partnered with Core Mining under its shelf company Marange, to form Canadile miners.

The joint venture company was formed to exploit Marange diamonds but, it collapsed after government agents arrested Core directors on allegations of fraud.

Lovemore Kurotwi, Core’s representative, has approached the Commercial Arbitration Centre to have his shareholding status in Canadile, now operating as Marange, revisited.

Through his lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, Kurotwi wants an arbitrator to intervene and ensure his interests and investments in Chiadzwa diamonds are protected.

According to the joint venture agreement signed between Core and Marange, any dispute that would have arisen between the two should be resolved through arbitration.

“Any dispute which may arise as a result of the interpretation or application of this agreement which cannot be resolved within a period of (30) thirty days shall be referred to arbitration. The arbitration takes place under the auspices of the Commercial Arbitration Centre at Harare,” reads the signed agreement.

But government is refusing the route taken by Kurotwi claiming the joint venture agreement signed between the two is null and void.

ZMDC decided to collapse the joint venture claiming Kurotwi, misrepresented facts regarding his financial capacity to exploit the gems.

It says the misrepresentation made by Kurotwi resulted in the state suffering a financial prejudice of $2 billion.

In his application to the arbitration centre, Mtetwa says the difference between Mines minister Obert Mpofu and Kurotwi should be solved through the civil process as opposed to the ongoing criminal process. - Xolisani Ncube

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