A company called Anjin is mining in Zimbabwe again, stirring up protests among area residents that resulted in 29 arrests.
Zimbabwe’s Marange diamond fields are in the news again amid local concerns about one mining company returning to the area.
More than two dozen locals who were protesting the operations of Anjin in Marange were arrested Nov. 2.
They have since been released, according to multiple sources in Zimbabwe, but Anjin’s presence in the area—and the issues locals have with it—are still a conversation the people who live in the Marange area want the trade to have.
Anjin is a joint venture between Chinese company Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Group (AFECC) and Matt Bronze, an investment vehicle of the Zimbabwean military.
The company mined in Marange previously, from 2009-2016, before the government revoked mining licenses from the companies operating in the area and created its own Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC).
At the time it expelled Anjin, the government accused the company of looting billions of dollars’ worth of the country’s diamonds, an accusation it denied.
There were also claims of human rights violations surrounding Anjin in Zimbabwe, including destroying infrastructure like roads, schools, farmland, and sacred areas, as well as concerns over how it treated employees and allegations it left the country without paying local employees the money they were owed.
Now, according to numerous reports and sources on the ground, Anjin is once again mining diamonds in Marange.
The Zimbabwe Independent reported that Anjin took over Portal B, a diamond-rich mining claim in Marange, under “unclear circumstances.”
Local news stories dating back to 2019 indicate the miner returned a few years ago. Shamiso Mtisi, coordinator of the Kimberley Process Civil Society Coalition and deputy director at Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association, confirmed these reports to National Jeweler.
Mtisi said Anjin has been re-establishing its operations in the area since then and possibly started mining for diamonds earlier than 2021, which is when Anjin claims formal mining operations resumed.
The return of a company with such a history in the country has angered locals.
The people of Marange responded with protests starting in late October, according to the Marange Women’s Alliance (MWA), which is sponsored by the Chicago Responsible Jewelry Transformative.