GOLD Miner, Metallon Corporation will take over operations at the scandal-ridden Redwing Mine in Penhalonga following the removal of the gold mine from corporate rescue by the Supreme Court in September last year.
The gold mine has been subject to damning reports of plunder and smuggling by artisanal miners contracted by Prime Royal Mining (PRM), mine workers, local community buyers, unregistered millers, registered buyers, and also officers from the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), and the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA).
During the corporate rescue period, Redwing Mine entered into a contract with Prime Royal Mining (PRM) in which it engaged over 1000 artisanal and small-scale miners to extract gold within the Redwing Mine concession.
Under the agreement, Redwing Mine and Prime Royal Mining were to get 30% each while artisanal miners get 40%. Prime Royal Mining then set up a milling plant at Redwing Mine and artisanal miners took ore from their pits dotted around the mine area to the mill.
During the same period, Betterbrands Mining Company owned by Pedzisai Sakupwanya, a prominent gold buyer with strong political ties, also took over 132 mining claims in the area. Yesterday, Metallon said when Redwing Mine was placed under business rescue following an application by a creditor in 2020, the mine's operations had already been facing adverse operating conditions.
“During the corporate rescue period, Metallon management did not maintain control and influence, when the operations were overrun by illegal mining activities,” it said in a statement.
“It was during this period that unsafe operations were allowed to happen while imprudent commercial decisions were made under an Administrator and as a consequence, there was a disregard for basic safety measures.
“This has resulted in avoidable injuries and deaths at Redwing Mine and also resulted in a significant loss of value to the national economy. Metallon is, therefore, clearly not responsible for any improper mining at Redwing Mine. As a result, the company is preparing to immediately set in motion processes to revive Redwing Mine and other operations, and to ensure a speedy return to safe, formalised mining,” Metallon added.
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The conglomerate said it was currently consulting with ‘concerned partners’ to ensure that any tribute agreements in place at Redwing Mine are enforced under strict mining standards for the safety of miners, the community, and the environment. In Zimbabwe, Metallon owns Mazowe Mine, Redwing Mine, and its flagship How Mine near Bulawayo according to its website.