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Kimberley Process Approves Zimbabwe Proposal

Awaits Chairman Nod Before Clearing Exports

Jan 19, 2011 4:05 AM   By Avi Krawitz
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RAPAPORT... Zimbabwe moved one step closer to legally exporting goods from its Marange mine after all members of the Kimberley Process  approved a proposal to enable the exports.

“This is an important step forward to allow the exports but the Zimbabwe saga is not yet over,” said a source close to the negotiations. “We are still waiting for a response from Zimbabwe but more importantly, it is now up to the Kimberley Process chair to formalize the agreement through an administrative agreement.”

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) took over from Israel as Kimberley Process chairman on January 1. The Kimberley Process members responded to a written proposal sent out by then chairman Boaz Hirsch, after talks at the the group’s annual plenary failed in Jerusalem in November.

The now approved amendment raised the veto conditions on the Kimberley Process’s working group for monitoring so that any three members, rather than two, can submit a report should Zimbabwe breach the joint working plan meant to keep Marange operations in compliance.

In addition to enabling exports from the two operating mines at Marange – those operated by Mbada and the Zimbabwe Mining & Development Corporation (ZMDC) - the agreement makes provisions for future mines being developed in the fields. The role of the Kimberley Process monitor for Marange will also change so that no supervision of shipments will be required, as was stipulated before. The role of the monitor will solely be to oversee the compliance at the mines.

ZMDC is on the list of companies under sanctions by the U.S. government.

Tags: Avi Krawitz, Kimberley Process, Marange Fields, Zimbabwe
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