Mutare-based miner DTZ-OZGEO (Pvt) Limited has stopped the rehabilitation of land at its alluvial gold mine in the eastern border city due to lack of funds casting doubts on the future operations of the country, sources close to the operations told The Herald Business yesterday.
Government last year ordered DTZ to concentrate on rehabilitating the environment it operates in before fully commencing work. Allegations were raised and Government cited fears of environmental degradation and contamination of water by the companyâs alluvial mining operations.
Sources say the suspension of the rehabilitation process by the company due to lack of funding however cast a doubt on the future operations of the company.
Following the suspension of the mineâs operations by Government, close to 500 workers were made redundant and the company lost an average production of between 20 and 30 kilograms of gold output per month.
âThe company has since stopped the rehabilitation exercise as per the Environmental Management Agency order due to lack of funds. No production has been taking place of late so the company has been hamstrung.
âEMA stopped the companyâs operations under the instruction that DTZ must concentrate on rehabilitating the environment it operates in before fully commencing work but due to lack of funds no rehabilitation has taken place,â said the sources.
âThe company is struggling to pay salaries because there is not activity and the closure of the gold operation is imminent,â added the sources.
DTZ has been in the dark despite its consented efforts to engage the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Environment, Water, Tourism and Hospitality sometime this year pleading with the committee to help reverse EMAâs decision as it has impacted negatively on its business.
Efforts to get an official comment from DTZ-Ozgeo public relations manager Mrs Clara Ngwenya were fruitless.
DTZ-OZGEO is a joint-venture mining firm established in 1994 and jointly owned by Development Trust of Zimbabwe established by the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo and Russian company Econedra Limited. Just after the companyâs appearance before Parliament in April last year, Government published in the Gazette of June 06 the same year, a statutory instrument 92 of 2014 on the control of alluvial mining that proved a final blow to the hopes of the company to resume operations. The statutory instrument cited the illegality of all alluvial mining operations in the country.
âNo person shall, notwithstanding that they are in possession of a special grant, conduct alluvial mining activities or prospecting of alluvial deposits without an EIA report and certificate issued by the Agency in terms of section 100 of the act,â red part of the statutory instrument.
The joint venture company is involved in alluvial gold and diamond mining activities. DTZ is currently exploring for diamond deposits in Chinyadadze area of Buhera in Manicaland. The company has done seam segment sampling in Buhera where they are searching kimberlite indicator minerals and at the moment they are identifying positives.
DTZ-OZGEO has set up a diamond ore processing plant worth about $25 million in Chimanimani as the company hopes to extend its tentacles in the diamond mining sector.
The company acquired a state-of-the-art 70 tonne Dense Media Separation machinery set to put the companyâs diamond processing capacity to 50 000 carats per month.
In addition the companyâs diamond mining operations in Chimanimani focuses on the 30 degrees steep dipping conglomerate body.
Chimanimani deposit has a huge variety of diamond morphologies, including well-formed octahedral crystals. Another notable feature in these diamonds is colour.
The deposit has a wide variety of colours which are characteristic for each size fraction and in general, Chimanimani diamonds differ from the ones at Marange.
Formations of both diamond types have differences both in stratigraphic position, mineral composition and morphology of diamonds.