KWEKWE-BASED ChinaZim International Minerals has been ordered to compensate the Zimbabwe Mining and Smelting Company (Zimasco) for stolen chrome ore.
BY CHARLES LAITON
The ruling by High Court Judge, Justice Edith Mushore came about after Zimasco approached the court accusing ChinaZim of conducting unauthorised mining activities at its Midlands claims and stealing chrome ore worth over $1 million.
But, after deliberating on the matter and hearing submissions from both parties, Mushore ruled in Zimasco’s favour and referred the matter to another court for quantification of damages instead.
“Whereupon after reading documents filed of record and hearing counsel it is ordered that both defendants’ defences are struck out. Judgment is entered for the plaintiff (Zimasco) on the aspect of liability….the matter is referred to the unopposed roll for quantification of the plaintiff’s damages. Defendants (ChinaZim and Ou Lin) are to pay plaintiffs’ costs of suit on a legal practitioner/client scale,” Justice Mushore said in the court order issued out on February 20 this year.
Through its judicial manager, Reggie Saruchera, Zimasco approached the court seeking to compel ChinaZim to pay $1 067 139,76 for already lost business and stolen chrome ore and $557 031,77 for the cost that it would incur in mining the remaining 50 018 tonnes of chrome ore.
Zimasco said it carried out a survey which showed that a total of 40 069 tonnes of the run-of-mine chrome ore was mined by ChinaZim and in an e-mail dated June 20, 2016, the latter admitted in writing to carrying out such mining without any lawful authority.
Zimasco further said ChinaZim’s illegal mining on its claims was done using shallow open cast mining up to an average mining depth of 6 metres when the appropriate average mining depth should have been 18 metres.
In its plea, however, ChinaZim had dismissed Zimasco’s assertions saying its operations in the said area was above board and had Zimasco officials’ blessings.
ChinaZim further said the matter between the parties would have been amicably resolved under a deed of settlement in terms of which it would have been allowed to continue with the mining to the 18 metres average depth, process the chrome ore at its own costs and supply the chrome concentrates to Zimasco.
The suggestion was, however, dismissed by the court.