African Mining Network

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AMN - ZIMBABWE: Vast signs MoU for diamond cooperation

Vast Resources has signed a memorandum of understanding with Botswana Diamonds plc under which the two companies will cooperate with the aim of developing and exploiting diamond resources in Zimbabwe.

The MoU provides for the two companies to exchange information derived from past exploration on areas prospective for diamonds.

It also allows for the formation of a special purpose jointly-owned company to develop and exploit diamond resources in the country.

Any exploitation of diamonds in Zimbabwe will be carried out in accordance with Zimbabwe's joint ownership laws in relation to diamonds.

In 2008 Vast acquired a database related to diamonds in Zimbabwe. It has also, until 2010, carried out its own exploration in the field using information from the database.

Botswana Diamonds has independently acquired a Zimbabwe diamond database and has expertise in diamond exploration, development and mining. In particular, it has access to technology relating to extracting diamonds from hard rock.

Vast Resources' chief executive Andrew Prelea said: "As a result of the new government's desire to open up business in Zimbabwe we believe the time has now come for us to make use of our historic diamond knowledge with a view to bringing value for all stakeholders in developing Zimbabwe's diamond resources. 

"We are delighted to be working with Botswana Diamonds in order to achieve this."

Vast Resources is an AIM-listed mining and resource development company focused on the rapid advancement of high-quality brownfield projects and recommencing production at previously producing mines in Romania.

Vast owns and operates the Manaila Polymetallic Mine in Romania, which was commissioned in 2015 and is focused on its expansion through the development of a second open pit operation and new metallurgical complex at the Carlibaba Extension Area.

The company's portfolio also includes an 80% interest in the Baita Plai Polymetallic Mine in Romania, where work is underway towards obtaining the relevant permissions to start developing and ultimately commissioning the mine.

The company also has interests in a number of projects in southern Africa including a controlling 25% interest in the producing Pickstone-Peerless Gold Mine in Zimbabwe.