Mavhuradonha chrome is ours: Chinese
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Chinese company Afrochine Smelting (Pvt) Ltd has filed a complaint against Earthlink Minerals (Pvt) Ltd for carrying out mining operations at Mavhuradonha Wilderness in Muzarabani district.
Afrochine cited Earthlink and Mines Minister Winston Chitando, whom he challenged to tell the court the truth about ownership of the controversial mine site.
The Zimbabwean chrome-smelting giant has been accused of looting minerals in a protected area, damaging the main lock at Mavuradonha Wilderness to enter and move its excavators and other heavy machinery.
The Mavhuradonha Wilderness is a 600 square kilometer seaside resort and has been maintained in its natural state since 1988, when the government designated it as a protected area under the Communal Land Act.
This ensured its protection against mining, agriculture and any other activity.
However, Afrochine maintained that he was the rightful owner of the complex, but denied the allegations of engaging in mining activities as was reported.
The Chinese company is seeking an order prohibiting Earthlink from mining for chromium in the wild and being declared the rightful owner of the claim.
Afrochine said Earthlink and Chitando should clarify that the mining company has not carried out any mining operations.
The company said it didn’t find out Earthlink was operating its dealership until July 24 of this year.
The mining company said EarthLink’s actions negatively impacted the environment as well as their reputation, as media widely reported Afrochine was responsible for the damage.
In his founding affidavit filed on behalf of the company, Qedisani Mlambo said Afrochine was still assessing the impact of mining on the environment.
“What is troubling to the Applicant is that the Respondent claimed to be Afrochine Smelting and that he had access to the wilderness reserve without proper consultation with local leaders,” Mlambo said.
He accused Earthlink of causing severe environmental degradation and disrupting wildlife.
“This is a clear case of mistaken identity where Earthlink shares are attributed to the claimant because the mine site in question is owned by the claimant. “
Mlambo complained that Earthlink apparently did nothing to dissociate itself from the claimant when allegations of unsustainable and harmful mining were raised.
Afrochine says it has a legal right to chromium there and that the respondents’ actions are detrimental to the company’s legitimate mining rights and to business in general.
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