Uproar Over Diamonds

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By Catherine Sasman

WINDHOEK

A DVD delivered at the New Era office and other media, suggests that diamonds suspected to have been mined in the contested Toscanini diamond licence area along the Skeleton Coast, were presented as though they were mined in Block B, an area apparently doubtful of its diamond yielding potential in the Karas Region.

The DVD, dated December 5, 2007, depicts a diamond valuation process within the valuation rooms of the Ministry of Mines and Energy.

A letter sent to a law firm, Lombard & Partners, in Pretoria, South Africa, from Nambib Resources, was submitted with the DVD.

The letter alleges that Nambib Resources, the Exclusive Prospecting Licence (EPL) holder of Toscanini, believed that Bret Investment moved diamonds from Toscanini to Block B “under false pretences”.

Bret Investment is the contracting company that is conducting a bulk-sampling programme on behalf of Nambib Resources.

Nambib Resources claim that Bret Investment did so in an attempt to obtain a Kimberley Processing Certificate on November 22 last year without informing the rightful EPL holder. Following which, said a source, Nambib was only informed that the valuation was going to be conducted on December 3, when “the whole scam was video recorded”.

A legal tiff had erupted between Nambib Resources and Bret Investment after Managing Director of Nambib, Dr Subramanian Ragubathi, questioned the legitimacy of Bret Investment on the manner in which the process of safekeeping of the diamonds, the transportation thereof and valuation was conducted.

Ragubathi also questioned the board of directors of Bret Investment among them Helmut Angula, Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, Naeman Imalwa and Nancy Mupinye – all board members – whom he argued in the letter, had invoked the contravention of Section 49 of the Diamond Act of Namibia. Ragubathi’s urgent application before the High Court to terminate the operations agreement with Bret Investment in November 23 last year was denied on the basis of its urgency.

In the letter Nambib Resources questions: “How is it possible that the seals of Protected Resources Unit and the Diamond Inspector [of the Ministry of Mines and Energy] on the envelope which contained the diamonds of Toscanini reflected November 28, 2007 when it was supposed to be sealed on the November 22, 2007 when the valuation was conducted (without the knowledge of the EPL owner)?”

It goes on to ask: “What happened to the diamonds of Toscanini from November 22, 2007 to November 28, 2007? Why was Nambib Resources only informed via fax on the November 30, 2007, when the valuation had already been conducted on November 22, 2007?”

It asks from Lombard & Partners of Bret Investments: “How is it possible for diamonds from ‘Block B’ EPL 3218 of Rosh Pinah, Karas Region, which is approximately 1??????’??

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