ILLEGAL miners have continued engaging in mining activities at a unit of Duration Gold based in Kwekwe despite a court order outlawing the activities, it has emerged.
Early this month the High Court ordered the Ministry of Mines to stop granting mining rights to a Zanu PF legislator for Mbizo Vongaishe Mupereri after he violently attempted to seize a Kwekwe-based gold mining company from its owner.
Justice Nicholas Mathonsi also ordered the police to conduct investigations at Gaika Mine, which was at the centre of the dispute. This came after Carel Hendrick Meyer, the manager at Gaika Mine, approached the courts seeking an interdict on the illegal activities that violated property rights. Meyer in his affidavit averred that during the late afternoon of March 2 2018, a violent altercation broke out between unlawful occupiers of the Gaika pit.
However, sources at Gaika Mine this week told the Zimbabwe Independent that the activities continued unabated.
“The illegal miners continue to operate in the Gaika open pit exposing themselves and community residents to physical harm. As earlier reported two people have died and seven have been hospitalised with serious injuries since the February 23 2018 illegal invasion,” the source said.
“This despite Duration Gold warning the Commissioner-General of Police (Second Respondent) well in advance (six days) of the potential for harm to life and limb.
The illegal Gaika invasion has highly negative implications for the raising of much-needed foreign direct investment from both Eastern and Western companies for both Duration Gold and Zimbabwe. Further and more particularly the illegal invasion undermines the president’s “Zimbabwe is Open for Business” message.”
Duration reopened a processing plant at the Gaika Mine immediately after acquiring the property in 2006. The plant has employed a minimum of 50 members of the local community ever since.
Gaika Mine is jointly owned by the China Africa Investment and Development Co Ltd (CAIDC) and Duration Gold.
Over the past few years the CAIDC/Duration Gold JV has expended over US$5 million exploring the Gaika mine, including 22 000 metres of exploration drilling in and about the old mine and its natural extensions.
With CAIDC’s full support, the plant has continued in operation despite an annual loss of US$150 000 as the importance of continued employment to the local employees and their families is well recognised by both CAIDC and Duration Gold.