Munyaradzi Musiiwa Midlands Correspondent
Over 80 percent of chrome mining claims ceded to Government by giant ferro chrome producer, Zimbabwe Mining and Smelting Company (Zimasco), have been exploited, while some are exhausted, it has been revealed.
Speaking during a zanu-pf Midlands Provincial Coordinating meeting on development, Midlands Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Cde 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.
The company kept rich and unexploited claims to itself.
Minister Machaya claimed the chrome mining giant, which together with ZimAlloys, jointly controlled about 80 percent of Zimbabwe’s chrome ore claims mostly found along the Great Dyke, sent a team of experts to survey their claims before ceding those that had been used.
“I would like to inform you that approximately 80 percent of the chrome claims that were ceded to Government by Zimasco in the province have been exploited, while some were abandoned,” he said.
“They kept the rich ones and those are the ones that are supposed to be reallocated to locals.
“We are seized with the matter and we are taking due diligence in the reallocation exercise.”
Zimasco general manager for marketing and administration Ms Clara Sadomba said the claims surrendered to Government were a mixture of those that had been mined, explored and surveyed.
“We treat all our claims the same,” she said.
“The claims that we ceded to Government were a cross section of claims we did underground mining and some open cast. Claims are used differently.
“On some of the claims we just did mineral exploration.”
Zimasco, which had 49 000 hectares of chrome claims, ceded 22 700 to Government following a directive by the Mines and Mining Development Ministry, to enable a wider inclusion of locals in the sector.