Mining sector owes CSOT $138 million

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Artisanal miners digging for diamonds in Marange

THE mining sector has so far released $38 million out of the $176 million it pledged to Community Share Ownership Trusts (CSOT), an official has said.

BY VICTORIA MTOMBA

Appearing before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth and Indigenisation acting permanent secretary in the Indigenisation ministry Mabasa Temba Hawadi said the figure represented 21,6% of the total pledges made by mining companies.
“We have held meetings with all the companies on the outstanding pledges on the Zimunya Marange CSOTs,” Hawadi said.

He said the pledges were only done verbally as has been revealed in the past.

Speaking at the same meeting, Mines and Mining Development acting permanent secretary Simon Masanga said diamond companies were requested to pay $250 000 as seed capital for the CSOTs.

He said so far two out of the five diamonds companies had paid the seed capital.

The five diamond mining companies include Marange Resources, Gye Nyame, Anjin Investments, Kusena Diamond Mining Company and Mbada Diamonds.

“To date, Marange resources paid $250 000 and Mbada $200 000 to the trust. Nothing has been paid by the other diamond companies,” Masanga said.

“We recommend that the Zimunya Trust be renegotiated over a long period. Since the time of the launch, production has been
going down. Most of the companies are working on the dumps. The pledges were made on the assumption that production was going to go up, but the opposite happened.”

He said with the current levels of production there was no way the companies could raise $10 million each.

Chairperson of the Indigenisation Parliamentary Committee Justice Mayor Wadyajena requested the correspondence between the former Youth and Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere and former Mines minister Obert Mpofu on CSOTs. But the two senior government officials could not provide the requested documents.

Masanga said: “I do not have that letter.”

Hawadi said soon after the pledges, the diamond companies were told to honour their pledges and were invited for a meeting by Indigenisation minister Christopher Mushohwe in March this year.

“So far, we have received a letter from one of the companies, Gye Nyame, saying they were discussing the issue with the board. The other companies have not responded since March,” he said.

CSOTs were set up so that communities benefit from companies exploiting resources in their areas.

The government gazetted the Indigenisation law in 2010 that requires local, community and employee participation in companies.