BY KENNETH NYANGANI
CHINESE company, Freestones Mines yesterday started engagements with Mutare residents, who have been resisting its quarry mining project in the eastern border town.
Residents were opposed to the project after it emerged that the Mutare City Council had leased a 6,5 hectare stand situated on Dangamvura Mountain to Freestones Mines.
The residents had threatened litigation to stop the mining operations.
Yesterday, the mining company engaged the residents including the United Mutare Residents Ratepayers Trust and Manicaland Youth Assembly, among others.
In an interview with NewsDay after the meeting, Freestones Mines Company spokesperson Njabulo Chipangura said the company wanted to allay residents’ fears.
“As Freestones Mines, we have done all procedures to start quarry mining, but we have to make sure that we have fully engaged Mutare residents over the issue,” he said
“We did not have a chance to really engage and state our position on how we are going to carry out the quarry mining and how the Dangamvura and Mutare residents are going to benefit from this project.”
Residents had demanded the relocation of the Chinese miner to a new site far away from residential areas and water distribution pipes.
“The mining is going to be environmentally-friendly. The blasting will be done through modern technologies, in terms of the environmental reclamation. We are going to assist in the regreening of the Dangamvura project,” Chipangura added.
Freestones director Ruoxin Qi said they were not a mysterious company.
“We are confident that we are going to work well with our communities. We are not a mysterious company,” he added.
Mutare City Council said everything was under control following stakeholder engagements.
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