Time Line of Marange Conflict Diamonds
— Early 1990’s: De Beers started prospecting the Marange area in the early 1990s but left the
country in 2006 after concluding that the deposits were not in line with the firm’s other Africa based
— March 2002 – March 2006: Kimberlitic Searches, a De Beers subsidiary, operated under two
“exclusive prospecting orders” from the government giving it full exploration rights to search
minerals in Marange. The orders expired in March 28, 2006 and De Beers did not renew them.
— March 2006: African Consolidated Resources (ACR) acquires the claims from De Beers.
— June 2006: Government becomes aware of Marange diamond discovery and ruling party, Zanu‐
PF, declares the fields open to anyone wishing to look for diamonds.
— July 2006: Diamond rush begins and continues through September 2006, while smuggling ran
— October 2006: Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) moves into Marange “to
mop up” and begins trying to purchase diamonds from illegal, unlicensed local miners.
— October 2006: ACR is evicted by government forces, and minister of mines, Amos Midzi, grants
exclusive mining and exploration rights to the state–owned Zimbabwe Mining Development
— November 21, 2006: Government launches police “operation Chirorokoza Chapera (End to
Illegal Panning) to stop illegal mining across the country. Approximately 9,000 Marange miners
arrested and gems worth around $7 million seized. “Operation marked by human rights abuses,
corruption, extortion and smuggling” Human Rights Watch said.
— Police set up at least 11 permanent checkpoints to restrict access to Marange district, which
soon became “de facto payment points where miners would bribe police to gain access to the
fields and pay an exit fee on their way out,” Human Rights Watch reported.
— Eventually police start to charge more for the bribes, and also forms “syndicates” with local
miners – or group of miners who operated under direct control of the police.
— November 2006 ‐ October 2008: While police control area, numerous killings, sexual abuse,
exploitation and human rights abuses reported to Human Rights Watch.
— October 2008: Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono estimates approximately 500 syndicates
operating in Marange at any given time.
— Government decides to deploy Zimbabwe Defense Force to Marange fields in response to
lawlessness and chaos there and the police’s inability to control it. May also have been an
intended to end illegal mining and smuggling by the police. Human Rights Watch finds that army
committed “numerous and serious human rights violations, including killings, beatings, torture,
forced labor, and child labor at Marange.
— October 27 ‐ November 16, 2008: During beginning period of “Operation Hakudzowkwi” (No
Return), Human Rights Watch reports army killed at least 214 miners, and adds the army was
involved in the smuggling of diamonds.
— Operation Hakudzowkwi continues through to February 2009, although most intense violence
occurs in October and November 2008. Tortures and beating, resulting in deaths, continued
— After gaining control of the area in October 2008, the army continued to occupy the area in June
2009 with about 600 soldiers based there at any given time.
— Late November and December 2008: Soldiers revive syndicate system, setting up their own and
forcing villages and miners to join them.
— February 2009: Human Rights Watch reports that as of February 2009, at least 300 children
continue to work for soldiers in the diamond fields.
— Human Rights Watch contends that Reserve Bank was major buyer of diamonds since early
— April 2009: World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) announces ban of Zimbabwe
diamonds on grounds of smuggling and human rights violations.
— June‐July 2009: Kimberley Process (KP) review team visits Zimbabwe, and reports the country is
not compliant with KP standards. Also reports observing soldiers with uniforms using civilians,
including children, to conduct illegal mining activities, and “significant” lawlessness.
— Following KP visit, government decides to form partnerships at Marange and forms state‐owned
company Marange Resources for this purpose.
— Human Rights Watch reports ongoing abuses in the fields as late as October 2009.
— November 2009: Zimbabwe announces at KP Plenary in Namibia that it has recruited private
investors Mbada Diamonds and Canadile Miners to mine two of five mining zones with diamond
resources in Marange, in partnership with Marange Resources.
— KP plenary fails to suspend Zimbabwe and formulates joint work‐plan to bring country into
— December 2009: Mbada Miners and Canadile Diamonds start mining the fields.
— March 2010: Abbey Chikane appointed KP Monitor for Marange. Visits the area on fact‐finding
— April 2010: Chikane submits findings from visit to KP and awaits second visit to assess diamonds
and clear them for export. KP Review team visit also expected in May ‐ June.
— May 2010: Chikane returns to Zimbabwe for second fact finding mission to Marange fields. Visit
marred by police raid on offices of NGO, Centre for Research and Development (CRD) after CRD
director Farai Maguwu allegedly tried to present Chikane with classified documents, and after
Maguwu claimed that 2,000 carats a day were being smuggled out of the Canadile Resources
concession. Maguwu goes into hiding.
— June 2010: Maguwu turns himself into police and is detained indefinitely.
— Chikane says Marange concessions operated by Mbada Diamond and Canadile Resources have
met KP minimum requirements for certification. Recommends KP approval of their production.
— KP Inter‐sessional meeting in Tel Aviv ends in Impasse on Zimbabwe issue as Zimbabwe
delegation threatens to act unilaterally.
— July 2010: Maguwu released from prison as KP meet during International Diamond
Manufacturers Association (IDMA) meeting in St Petersburg. St Petersburg agreement allows
partial exports of Marange rough mined by Mbada and Canadile prior to may 28, 2010.
— August 2010: Approximately 900,000 carats of Marange rough sold for about $72 million in
Harare, with KP approval.
— September 2010: Second KP‐approved Marange sale conducted with 500,000 carats selling for
an estimated $13.5 million.
— Zimbabwe High Court rescinds previous judgment granting ACR title to the Marange
concessions. ACR appeals the decisions.
— October 2010: Court lifts all charges against Farai Maguwu.
— November 2010: Six officials from the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) of
Canadile arrested for fraudulently gaining rights to mine Canadile’s Marange concessions.
— KP plenary in Jerusalem ends with no decision made regarding allowing Zimbabwe exports from
— Abbey Chikane visits Zimbabwe to give approval to Marange stock. KP disregard Chikane’s
certification stressing that no decision had been made to allow certification.
— Zimbabwe government reportedly holds sale of several million carats of Marange diamonds,
allegedly to Indian buyers.
- — January 2011: KP members reach written consensus regarding draft proposal of Jerusalem agreement. Proposal sent to KP chair and Zimbabwe government for approval.
- — February 2011: KP negotiations with Zimbabwe continue based on Jerusalem agreement proposal.
Rapaport News, Human Rights Watch, KP Monitor Report from Fact Finding Mission, African Consolidated Resources website