Munyaradzi Musiiwa, Midlands Correspondent
THE Ministry of Mines and Mining Development will soon send a team of surveyors to assess the chrome claims that were ceded to Government by Zimbabwe Mining and Smelting Company (Zimasco) amid reports that 80 percent of the claims have been exploited while some are exhausted.
Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs Jason Machaya said 80 percent of chrome claims ceded to Government by the chrome smelting company in the province were either exhausted, exploited or inaccessible while they kept those that are rich and unexploited.
Minister Machaya said the chrome mining giant sent a team of experts to survey their claims before ceding those that had been used and inaccessible, keeping those that are rich.
He said the province would return the exhausted claims back to the Mines and Mining Development Ministry.
“We sent a team of surveyors on the ground to assess the 305 claims that were allocated to Midlands by the Mines and Mining Development Ministry after Zimasco ceded 50 percent of its claims to Government. We discovered that 80 percent of the claims were inaccessible, worked on or exhausted. We are returning the claims back to the responsible miinistry so that they engage Zimasco at that level,” he said.
Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa said the Ministry was going to send a team of surveyors to assess the claims before engaging Zimasco on the matter.
“We are going to investigate the matter and see the state of the claims,” he said.
Minister Chidhakwa said Zimbabwe Alloys (ZimAlloys), who together with Zimasco jointly controlled about 80 percent of Zimbabwe’s chrome ore claims, mostly found along the Great Dyke, were still to cede the claims despite Government ordering them to do so.
“Zim Alloys are yet to cede their claims as per Government directive. However, we are discussing with them,” he said.
ZimAlloys judicial manager Mr Reggie Saruchera once told Sunday Business that the ferrochrome producer had fully complied with the Government directive and had ceded 60 percent of its claims to the ministry.
“We have ceded 60 percent of our mining claims to Government as advised. I do not have the actual figure in terms of the number of claims but we have ceded the claims to Government,” said Mr Saruchera.