PARLIAMENT yesterday grilled Chinese national, Shouming Lin, the managing director of Beijing Pingchang Investment company over the stripping of assets at Kamativi Tin Mine and failure to make a $100 million financial injection as promised in the agreement they made to invest in the mine with Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC).
BY VENERANDA LANGA
Lin appeared before the Temba Mliswa-led Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines, where MPs said when the committee visited Kamativi Tin Mine they found the situation there worse than before and that the mine’s assets and scrap metal had been looted.
But, Lin refuted the claims saying that it was not the Chinese investors that were stripping Kamativi of its assets and selling scrap metal. He said it was impossible for the Chinese to do so as the mine security was manned by ZMDC.
Luke Akino, the ZMDC general manager, supported Lin’s claims saying it was the ZMDC which was selling the scrap metal, thus brushing aside claims that the Chinese investors were stripping the mine of its assets.
But, the committee then turned on Lin asking him why he had failed to inject the $100 million into Kamativi resulting in lack of progress, despite that the agreement for a joint venture with ZMDC was signed in 2015.
The committee had been told that the Chinese partners had only injected less than a million in the project to resuscitate the comatose tin mine to date.
Lin had claimed to the committee that they had spent around $7 million to buy machinery and set up laboratories and other equipment.
Akino said the agreement with Beijing Pingchang was that they would inject $100 million to finance the whole business plan, a feasibility study and putting up the whole plant.
“Before that could be done there was a request to satisfy Beijing Pingchang with a resource statement and that was done in 2017. It is only last Friday that they said they had completed the resource statement,” Akino said.
The committee then asked ZMDC to explain if they had done due diligence to find out if Beijing Pingchang was able to raise the $100 million.
Lin said he had taken ZMDC management to China to do the due diligence and inspect some of their mining operations there and gave confidence that they were bonafide investors.
ZMDC company secretary, Tinashe Chiparo, said due diligence was done and the parties were now going to sit down and do business plans so that the $100 million investment is injected into the project.
Mliswa warned ZMDC must be wary of entering into mining agreements without doing due diligence on investors, as some investors were not serious and were coming into Zimbabwe to loot and for speculative purposes.