BY KENNETH NYANGANI
MUTARE City Council yesterday accused Chinese miner, Freestones Mines, of breaching a lease agreement after launching mining operations without notifying the local authority.
Freestones Mines is also accused of carrying out operations on Dangamvura Mountain without an environment impact assessment (EIA) certificate.
This was revealed in a full council meeting held in the eastern border city.
Council acting engineering director Tonderai Sango said he was surprised that the company started operations on Dangamvura Mountain without their knowledge.
“The Chinese miner came and started to work on the mountain without our permission in the process breaching the lease agreement we had with them. I was actually surprised to hear that there were some people doing some works on the mountain that is when we discovered that they there are the Chinese,” he said.
Council spokesperson Sprein Mutiwi said: “What was happening at the mountain was a breach of a lease agreement, but the miner has since stopped operations.”
In a statement, Freestone Mine director Ruoxin Qi said: “Following numerous concerns regarding our preparatory works for quarry mining activities at Dangamvura Mountain as respectable and la- abiding firm, we found it prudent to shed more light concerning the matter.
“We were issued with a lease agreement by the City of Mutare in 2021 to carry out mining activities at stand number 13415 at Dangamvura Mountain after responding to tender
“For the record, we had not started the mining activities, but we were just doing preparatory work as we waited for the EIA certificate. It is unfortunate the preparatory works were misconstrued as quarry mining activities which is not in the correct picture.”