A CHINESE-LINKED mining firm, Sander Investments (Private) Limited, stands accused of stealing 1 604 grammes of gold valued at $64 080,80 from a Bulawayo miner.
BY SILAS NKALA
In summons recently filed at the Bulawayo High Court, Michael John Van Rooyen, claimed that Sander Investments represented by Mohammed Daka and Victor Xu Xiaofei, conducted illegal mining activities at his gold claims between July and August last year.
“The plaintiff’s claim is for payment of the sum of $64 080,80 being the value of the gold ore stolen by the defendants from plaintiff’s mining claims between July 1 2016 and August 17 against all defendants jointly or severally the one paying the other to be absolved,” the summons read.
Van Rooyen also demanded payment of interest in the said sum at the rate of 5% per annum with effect from August 17 2016 to date of final payment.
He submitted that on June 1 2016, he and the Sander Investments entered into an oral exploration and option to purchase agreement in respect of his 47 mining claims. Sander Investments was represented by Xu Shuing, Daka and Xu Xiaofei and three Chinese geologists in the discussion leading to the agreement.
“The maternal terms of the said agreement were for the purchase once for the 47 claims together with the buildings at $2 300 000, 1st defendant (Sander Investments) would pay a deposit of $200 000 for it to conduct exploration on plaintiff’s mining claims for a period of six months. Should a further period for exploration be necessary, 1st defendant (Sander Investments) was to pay a further deposit of $250 000 in order to continue with the exploration.”
Van Rooyen declared that a deposit of $450 000 would be deducted from the purchase price in the event that Sander Investments exercised its options to purchase.
“First defendant was given three weeks to formalise themselves with the claims and secure the necessary equipment to carry out the sampling.
“First defendant was not supposed to ferry any ore from any of the claims without prior approval of the plaintiff who had to obtain ore movement permit from the ministry of mines,” read the declaration.
“On or about June 28, 2016 the parties agreed to vary the sampling to be completed by July 31, 2016.
“Between July 1 and August 17, 2016 second defendant (Daka) and third defendant Xu Xiaofei acting in their capacity as the officers of the first defendant unlawfully engaged part time workers to carry out full-scale mining activities in the pretext of exploration on plaintiff’s claims.” Rooyen said the defendants extracted 173 tonnes of gold ore form plaintiff’s claims without his authority.
The respondents are yet to respond to the summons.