Wednesday, 14 April 2021

CHINESE MINER GETS TEMPORARY RELIEF

HIGH Court judge Webster Chinamora has granted temporary relief to a local mining company, Angel Hill Mining Company (Angel Hill), which sought an order to suspend the Mines ministry’s directive barring it from mining along the Angwa River bank in Mashonaland West province.

The ruling was handed down after the firm approached the court challenging Mines minister Winston Chitando and Mashonaland West provincial mining director’s March 31 directive, arguing that the authorities were seeking to undermine a previous court order granted in Angel Hill’s favour.

In court papers, the mining firm said it initially approached the High Court last month challenging a prohibitory order issued by the Environmental Management Agency (Ema).

“Surprisingly and against the court order, Ema on the 10th of March issued an order stopping the operations of the applicant (Angel Hill) without any legal basis. The applicant approached this honourable court on an urgent basis challenging such a decision and an order was granted suspending the decision and allowing the applicant to carry out its mining activities,” the application reads.

Angel Hill said despite this order, Chitando, the provincial mining director and Ema “connived” to ensure that the firm was not be allowed to resume mining activities.

“Officials from the respondent’s offices in reaction to the court order of the 16th of March 2021 and on a witch hunting exercise, visited the applicant’s mine on the 22nd of March.

“On the 31st of March, the second respondent (provincial mining director) wrote to the applicant suspending the applicant’s mining activities citing various reasons. It is apparent that this is a clear abuse of administrative power to frustrate the court orders.

“The respondents are conniving with Ema to pre-empt orders granted to this honourable court in a bid to pave way for the applicant’s rivals, that is Zim Goldfields,” the firm said.

In his ruling, Chinamora ordered the suspension of the March 31 letter to Angel Hill pending the finalisation of the matter, which has been set down for hearing on Thursday. Daily News

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