Police halt mining at River Ranch

Clemence Manyukwe


POLICE have stopped River Ranch Ltd from carrying out further mining activities at a diamond mine in Beitbridge whose ownership is in dispute, in line with a High Court order.

The freezing of mining activities at River Ranch Mine follows

the issuing of two court orders, one in February nullifying Mines and Mining Development minister Amos Midzi’s cancellation of Bubye Minerals’ claim to the mine that had been approved by the mining board in January 2005, and the second one the following month interdicting him from presiding over the matter.

Midzi was barred from adjudicating in the matter in the second court order after he had invited submissions for purposes of determining the case despite being prevented from doing so by the first court order.

On Wednesday, Bubye Minerals director Adele Farquhar said police had finally taken action on the matter.

“The continued unlawful exploitation of Special Grant 1278 and the looting of stones therefrom have been reported to the CID Minerals Division. The case number is DR 32/03/06,” said Farquhar.

“We are informed that Chief Superintendent Nyamupaguma visited our claim last week in the company of officials from the Ministry of Mines and finally took action against the unlawful occupants by ordering them to cease operations.”

Contacted for comment on Wednesday, Nyamupaguma, who heads the CID Serious Fraud Squad (Minerals Division), referred all questions to the police public relations unit which could not immediately comment.

The dispute over the mine was triggered by a January 2005 mining board decision to cede the mine’s special grant, previously held by River Ranch Ltd, to Bubye Minerals.