Storm brews over Kariba gold deposits

Source: Storm brews over Kariba gold deposits – The Zimbabwe Independent August 19, 2016

A CLASH is brewing between the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) and Townsend Enterprises over the extraction of gold at the Gache-Gache area where gold deposits worth millions of US dollars were discovered by the latter as it has emerged that the state-owned concern is gradually forcing out the private company.

By Hazel Ndebele

Townsend Enterprises was last year sub-contracted by the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) to supply sand to Chinese firm Sino Hydro for the construction of Kariba South Power Station from a concession on the Gache River owned by Chapungu Safaris.

The company then discovered gold deposits on the sand and informed Mines minister Walter Chidhakwa through a letter requesting for a special grant which was never responded to.

Sources close to the developments told the Zimbabwe Independent this week that Townsend Enterprises is gradually being forced out of its allocated site by ZCDC which has fully commissioned its equipment for the extraction of the gold.

“Government instead of issuing a special dispensation grant to Townsend Enterprises, commissioned ZCDC equipment at the Gache-Gache area and will soon start extracting gold in the area which Townsend was also allocated,” the source said.

Townsend delivers 450 tonnes of sand to Sino Hydro daily.

ZCDC first deployed equipment in Gache-Gache on May 23 2016 and set up camp and a plant for gold extraction.

“Townsend has since last year been seeking for the special dispensation of the extraction of gold to save millions of dollars being lost to the dam wall, the company has engaged government numerous times and even the office of the President several times but has been ignored,” the source said.

“The private company is gradually being forced out of the Gache-Gache area to make way for ZCDC.”

ZCDC, according to sources, will be interfering with Townsend’s contractual responsibilities which are to excavate, wash and deliver sand to Sino Hydro.

Sources told this paper that the district ddministrator of Kariba and the chief executive officer of Nyaminyami Rural District Council instructed Townsend and its sister company Chapungu Safaris to assist ZCDC.

Townsend, according to the sources, argues that the country has lost gold to the dam wall worth to US$25 million in the last eight months due to government’s refusal to grant it a special dispensation grant.

The wasteful loss of gold, according to sources, is conservatively estimated at three kilogrammes per day.

Mines deputy minister Fred Moyo on Wednesday this week told parliament that ZCDC will extract gold on the alluvial sands at Gache-Gache.

“The Gache-Gache project has to do with gold recovery on the alluvial sands, in that area there may well be deposits of diamonds but there were never accessed, we never said they were at a minable level and the project at the moment is specifically directed at extracting gold at that area, one source said.”

Government sources told the Independent that Townsend had initially approached Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya in December 2015 after the discovery of the gold. However, the governor advised the company to deal with the Mines ministry.

The central bank is the sole buyer of gold in the country through Fidelity Printers.


  • comment-avatar

    So what else is new in the State of Zimbabwe and its self-enriching ministers?!

  • comment-avatar
    njalo 6 years ago

    Unlike what happened with the diamonds, there is a chance for all the gold to be accounted for.

    Every clean up at the ZCDC extracting plant should be attended by representatives of the CIO, ARMY, RESERVE BANK, ZIMRA, PRESS, MINISTRY OF MINES. The MINISTRY OF LANDS should also be there to make sure that ZCDC does not degrade the area and leave a mess when they have exhausted the gold deposits.

    Any other arrangement means we will be once again be reading of the millions of dollars that were stolen.

    • comment-avatar

      @Njalo: You are either a massive optimist or still living in ‘cloud-cuckoo-land’! The organisations you mention are all Zanu-PF!! What makes you think that their presence will avert the profits leaking into individuals pockets instead of benefitting the Nation??

      • comment-avatar
        Reverend 6 years ago

        Bha hahaha I appreciate your sense of humor Angie! We must confuse these clowns as much as we can and do what we can to ruffle their feathers.

        • comment-avatar

          @Reverend: Now I’m beginning to wonder if (and hoping) Njalo was taking the piss! It never ceases to amaze me how many Zimbos are STILL falling for Zanu’s outrageous dishonesty when it is so obvious that they care only for their own bank accounts and not at all for the well-being of our country and its people.