A London Stock Exchange listed mining company, Vast Resources, has signed a joint venture agreement with Chiadzwa Mineral Resources ahead of the conclusion of an agreement with the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) in October to start mining in Manicaland Province.

The partnership between the UK based firm and Chiadzwa Mineral Resources, a company appointed to represent the Chiadzwa community interests in the diamond concession, is expected to increase diamond production in the country.

In a statement to stakeholders, Vast Resources revealed that the proposed joint venture will be named Katanga Mining.

Vast Resources CEO Andrew Prelea expressed the company’s commitment to work with the government of Zimbabwe and the Chiadzwa community, but said an update on the financing modalities will be released later.

The Minister of Mines and Mining Development Cde Winston Chitando confirmed the latest development, saying the agreement reflects interest by some big mining companies on the country’s mineral resources.

He explained that the agreement is expected to increase the value of the diamonds, while providing technical expertise.

Zimbabwe is targeting 4.1 million carats of diamonds this year from 2.8 million carats in 2018 but depressed global commodity prices have slowed down output in the first six months.