SOUTH African mining magnate Mzi Khumalo is under pressure to dispose of Redwing Mine in Penhalonga, Manicaland province and Mazowe Gold Mine in Mashonaland Central as the mines have become hotbeds for criminal activities by gangs terrorising the local communities.
The two mines are owned by Metallon Corporation Group, Redwing Mining Company through King’s Daughter Mining Company, which is a subsidiary of pan-African natural resources company, Metallon Corporation.
Gold Fields of Mazowe Limited is the parent company of Mazowe Gold Mine — a high-grade, underground gold mining operation comprising of Mazowe and BSV sections, located 50 kilometres north of Harare. It has around 247 claims covering 2 939 hectares.
Despite the high presence of Zimbabwe Republic Police in the areas, illegal mining is continuing unabated as a large number of illegal gold miners are allegedly bribing their way into the underground to access the gold.
To date, Metallon Corporation, which used to own five gold mines, has disposed of Shamva Gold Mine to Kuvimba Mining House and Arcturus Mine to prominent lawyer Tawanda Nyambirai, while Mazowe and Redwing gold mines remain under receivership. The mining group still owns its flagship Bulawayo-based, How Mine.
The Independent is reliably informed that government officials are putting pressure on the mining industrialist to dispose of the two mines.
Some mining claims owned by the two mines have since been invaded by illegal miners.
The government has been inundated with reports of violence and criminal activities in those areas and it is now pushing Khumalo to sell the two assets.
“Mazowe has not been operating for some time and the same is true with Redwing where there have been squabbles among the companies operating there,” a government source told the Independent.
Khumalo and the Metallon Corporation public relations office did not respond to questions sent to them.
Mines and Mining Development minister Winston Chitando also did not respond to questions sent to him.
The push comes as Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) stated that illegal gold mining was now a security threat. They said recently illegal gold mining was now attracting criminals from outside the country.
A recent visit by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security also revealed that the gold mining sector will soon create “warlords” after making millions from the sector.
The committee toured the gold-rich area of Penhalonga in Mutare where Redwing Mine is located. The mine is located 20 kilometres northeast of Mutare and 291 kilometres from Nyamapanda Border post between Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
“There is a push for Mzi Khumalo to dispose of his control in Redwing Mine and there are indications that the South African might bow down to political and commercial pressure,” another source said.
“Remember his disposal of Shamva Mine was also out of pressure. Therefore he decided to keep Redwing considering its rich resource, together with How Mine, but it looks like there are forces determined to take over this Manicaland-based mine. Already there have been serious fights for gold claims around Redwing Mine.
“Redwing Mine is a combined underground and sand/slime retreatment operation, with one processing plant dedicated to underground operations and another to surface sand operations with a current resource close to five million ounces of gold,” he added.