SMM in storm over sale of US$4,5m chrome mine


MASVINGO –A chrome miner has accused the defunct Shabanie Mashava Mines (SMM) Holdings of fraudulently selling part of his chrome mine to a Swiss company for US$4,5m and the case is now a matter before the Police and courts.

Icon Alloys Pvt Ltd director, Takunda Mjumi (51) says in papers filed at CID Minerals Unit in Masvingo dated September 27, 2020 that SMM sold and transferred a defunct Prince A claim registration number 374BM to Gurta AG, a Swiss mining company. 374BM claim substantively superimposes the miner’s own claims.

Mjumi says that this was a fraudulent deal because SMM no longer owned that claim after the Ministry issued it with a certificate of abandonmenton September 27, 2007.

Mjumi and Gurta AG are now clashing over the claims.

SMM administrator, Afaras Gwaradzimbza said the matter is before the courts and refuse to comment.

Gurta AG Mashava supervisor identified as Madziyire refused to comment when The Mirror contacted him for a comment.

The documents which are in the hands of The Mirror state that Mjumi acquired the claims through due process in 2008 and registered it under 10253BM.SMM however, allegedly sold a substantive part of Mjumi’s claims to Gurta AG, a year after Mjumi had begun exporting chrome.

Gurta AG was issued with a certificate of registration after transfer number T9752 in 2009.This certificate transferred the title of the then non-existent 374BM.

A dispute determination outcome written by the then Mining Commissioner, Rungoyi Mutikizizi in 2008 confirms Mjumi’s position that indeed SMM sold a claim which it had abandoned.

“May I remind your good offices that you submitted an application for abandonment of portions of your Mining Lease and your mining claims on May 16, 2007. In terms of the Mines and Minerals Act (Chapter 21:05) the Mining Commissioner forwarded your application to the Mining Affairs Board and proceeded to process and abandon your mining claims.

“You may agree with the writer that it was upon realization that the area you applied for abandonment, for whatever reason, included two chrome dumps and that Takunda Mjumi was now processing them, that you visited the writer’s office for advise and possibly have his licenses cancelled,” reads part of the outcome letter written to SMM by Mutikizizi.

Mjumi who is involved in a wrangle spanning over 10 years with SMM and Gurta AG told The Mirror that his certificate of registration was illegally cancelled in 2009.

The claims cancellation instruction against Mjumi in the hands of The Mirror dated November 2009 does not have the Minister’s signature or notice of cancellation placed in the Government Gazette or a local newspaper which are prerequisites in section 50 of the Mines and Minerals Act.

The cancellation instruction was signed by one I.N. Chihota who was then Harare Mining Commissioner.

Mjumi is also insisting that certificates held by Gurta AG shown to him through the police after lodging his complaint clearly indicate a fraudulent transfer of 374BM which was abandoned in 2007.

“I am advised that there is no provision under the Mines and Minerals Act that authorizes anyone to transfer an abandoned mining claim. It is my allegation that as the papers were born of a fraudulent process, an offense of fraud was committed by Gurta AG in obtaining the document,” reads part of the documents filed by Mjumi.

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