Ishemunyoro Chingwere Business Reporter
The Mining Affairs Board has finally settled the acrimonious coal claims dispute between Makomo Resources and Zambezi Gas, delivering a ruling in favour of the former as the rightful owners of the coal infested land.
Zambezi Gas had on September 19, 2018, written to the Mining Affairs Board seeking recourse after alleging that Makomo was encroaching into its claims located in Matabeleland North Province.
The matter was deliberated at the board’s 586th meeting held on January 30 and a verdict was then delivered last week in favour of Makomo Resources.
In his letter to Makomo Resources dated March 13, 2019 – a copy of which The Herald Business has exclusively obtained, board chairman Mr Onesimo Mazai Moyo who is also permanent secretary in the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, said the claims belong to Makomo Resources.
The board chairman advised that there had been a mistake in the Zambezi Gas Special Grant, which had given them 19 720 hectares instead of 8 644 hectares, which are also backed by the miner’s coordinates supplied on application.
“Basing on its investigations and official records in the Ministry, the board resolved and concluded that Makomo Resources’ Special Grant No. 5214 is not encroaching in the area covered by Zambezi Gas’ Special Grant No. 4084,” wrote Mr Moyo in a letter this publication obtained from reliable sources.
“The board established that the fact that the claim by Zambezi Gas that it was granted 19 720 hectares was based on an error that appears on their initial exploration special grant, where it was erroneously indicated by the ministry that they had been granted 19 720 hectares instead of the 8 644 hectares applied for, as confirmed by the coordinates supplied on the application.
“The same error was again repeated when Zambezi Gas’ grant was converted from an exploration grant to a mining grant in 2017.
“The board determined that the correct position is that Zambezi Gas was given 8 644 hectares and not 19 720 hectares and this is confirmed by the coordinates supplied on application and the records held by the Ministry (of Mines and Mining Development).
“Please be advised that corrective steps and measures are being taken by the board to rectify this anomaly that gave rise to the allegation,” wrote Mr Moyo.
The board chairman also noted that the two companies are playing an important role in the economy of the country and appealed that they continue on the same path in a harmonious manner.
“The board noted the important role played by both companies in the country’s economy and hopes that they will work together harmoniously in the national interest following the clarification of this matter,” wrote the board chairman.
Speaking to this publication on Friday, Makomo Resources director Raymond Mutokonyi, said his firm was happy that the matter had been settled.
“There really was no dispute to talk about from the word go because our papers are very clear on what belongs to us, but I am happy that this has been formally settled and officially communicated to both concerned parties.”