GLOBAL resources giant Rio Tinto has quit Zimbabwe by disposing of its stake in Murowa Diamonds and Sengwa Colliery. In a notice on Friday, Rio said it had “completed the sale of its 78 percent interest in Murowa Diamonds and 50 percent interest in Sengwa Colliery to RZ Murowa”. RioZim is an independent Zimbabwean mining concern and is listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. It already holds a 22 percent interest in Murowa and a 50 percent interest in Sengwa. This means the local entity will assume the overall management of both entities – Murowa and Sengwa. Rio, which had been in Zimbabwe for more than six decades, said it believed “the future of these assets can be best managed by entities with existing interest in Zimbabwe”. Rio Tinto Diamonds and Minerals chief executive Alan Davies said: “Rio remains committed to the diamond industry and is focused on operating its world-class underground mines while obtaining the approvals for its advanced diamond project in India.” The exit by the multi-national company comes as a blow to Zimbabwe as the economically embattled country is busy trying to attract foreign investors. In the first quarter of 2014, production at Murowa was down by almost half – 42 percent – with the firm getting 40 000 carats. – ANA