via Bikita, diamond firm in fees row | The Herald December 23, 2013 by George Maponga
Bikita Rural District Council has ordered diamond mining firm Nan Jiang Africa Resources to pay US$35 000 in outstanding regulations fees by next month or face litigation.
Nan Jiang Africa Resources is conducting trial mining activities at Devuli in Budzi communal lands and has discovered four kimberlite pipes it wants to exploit.
The company is a joint venture between a Chinese firm and a consortium of local businesspeople.
Early this year, Bikita RDC ordered the company to pay US$40 000 regulation fees after it built permanent structures without approval from the local authority.
The firm paid US$5 000.
Bikita RDC chief executive officer Mr Johnsen Mpamhadzi last week said the local authority was unhappy with the continued reluctance by Nan Jiang Africa Resources to pay the balance.
“We have given them (Nan Jiang Africa Resources) an ultimatum to settle the outstanding regulation fees by January next year failure of which we will be left with no option besides taking them to court.
“We have been patient with them hoping they were going to settle their arrears after paying only US$5 000 regulation fees out of the US$40 000 that we wanted but to our dismay Nan Jiang Africa Resources has not yet paid us anything from the beginning of last year,’’ he said.
Mr Mpamhadzi said Bikita RDC did not have the powers to force Nan Jiang Africa Resources to cease mining operations at its Devuli Ranch site.
“We will take the legal route as our last resort because we do not have the powers to force them to shut down operations and it is our hope that they will see sense.
“They have to pay regulation fees for proceeding to build structures and a plant at their mining site without approval from us as the local authority,” he said.
Bikita RDC this year took Bikita Minerals to court after the lithium mining firm failed to pay its unit tax obligations on time.
The dispute ended after Bikita minerals started paying its unit tax arrears.