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Zimasco in trouble over mining claims

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Government has warned holders of large mining claims who have failed to utilise them and are contracting small-scale miners to mine on their behalf they risk losing their claims.

Mines and Mining Development minister Obert Mpofu said a new law was on the cards to wrest the tributes from the claim holders and hand them over to those working on the mines.

Mpofu made particular reference to the country’s largest chrome miner and smelter, Zimasco, whom he accused of holding many blocks of chrome, which it had parcelled out to locals in Shurugwi.

“All the tributes should be given to the people who are working on them,” said Mpofu.

“So if you have been given a tribute by Zimasco or anyone, please keep working there because that tribute is about to become yours. I will be making laws to that effect; the laws will give you ownership to the tributes. In fact they are now your tributes.”

The message is a clear threat to foreign-owned companies that are reportedly playing delaying games with the indigenisation law.

Mpofu and Indigenisation and Empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere said the indigenisation law was there to stay.

“At first there was resistance from Unki Mine to the law, but if you look at us, Mpofu and myself (Kasukuwere), we are big and those who are looking for loopholes will not find any.

“We are not going to change, so stop the delaying tactics. This law is here to stay and it does not provide any exemptions and (there are) no special cases,” said Kasukuwere during the launch of the Tongogara community share ownership trust by President Robert Mugabe at Unki Mine on Wednesday.

“Let me remind all eligible companies and mines as well as warn the non compliant that the law will take its course.”

Unki released 10% of its shares to the Tongogara Trust and a $10 million purse that will be controlled by chiefs in the area and directed towards development and other investments which are supposed to benefit the community.

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