Interview: Diamond dealer Cranswick

17 08 2010

Journalist Violet Gonda presents the final segment of her interview with Andrew Cranswick, CEO of African Consolidated Resources, the company in the middle of a legal wrangle with the government over the Chiadzwa diamond mine. The alluvial diamond fields in Chiadzwa are one of the richest in the world but corruption is swallowing up all the profits, which could rebuild Zimbabwe. Cranswick talks about the corruption, the South African ‘crooks’ who have been given permits to mine Chiadzwa, and his fears that the unrest created by these diamonds could lead to war, as has happened in other parts of Africa. He accuses the State of allowing a ‘bunch of South African smugglers’ to manage Zimbabwe’s most important cash asset.

BROADCAST: APRIL 2, 2010

VIOLET GONDA: Welcome to the second part of the interview with Andrew Cranswick, the CEO of African Consolidated Resources, the company in the middle of a legal wrangle with the government over the Chiadzwa diamond mine. In the first part of the interview Cranswick talked about the history of, and the controversy behind, the Chiadzwa diamond mine. The alluvial diamond fields in Chiadzwa are one of the richest in the world but corruption has apparently swallowed all the profits. There is no doubt that these resources should benefit the deeply troubled country yet the Zimbabwean people have nothing to show for the natural wealth under their feet. There are some who say diamonds, like oil are a non-renewable resource and should be regulated. So in this final segment I started by asking Cranswick to respond to those who believe that such resources should not be under the control of private investors but by the State.

ANDREW CRANSWICK: First of all, all minerals – not just diamonds and oil – are non-renewable. Platinum is non-renewable, nickel is non-renewable, copper is non-renewable. The only mineral that we are mining at the moment that is in some way renewable is phosphate. Now we’re mining a non-renewable resource but if we recycled sewage then it would be somewhat renewable. So it’s not just diamonds and oil, it’s all minerals that are non-renewable and I’ve just outlined the best way, and it’s been proven in countries like Australia, Canada, Tanzania and now Botswana , that if you don’t involve private capital and private equity these things will never be developed.

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