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Villagers demonstrate at Chinese Bikita Minerals

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Villagers demonstrate at Chinese Bikita Minerals

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GARIKAI MAFIRAKUREVA

BIKITA – Relations between villagers and Chinese-owned mining companies remain polarised throughout the country and the latest incident saw women demonstrating and blocking caterpillars at Bikita Minerals from opening roads through their fields.
Sources said the women were also angry with chemical spillages from the mine which reached Matezva Dam, a source of water for more than 400 families in Mungezi and Chiwara in Gutu.
Sino Mine Resource Group public relations officer Collen Nikisi confirmed the spillage but said the situation is under control.
The villagers accused Sino Mine Resources of promising jobs to locals to compensate for the damage and roads that are being built through their fields but delivering none. They also said that three goats, a sheep and a cow had succumbed to the spilled chemicals.
In an agreement in the hands of The Mirror, Sino Mine also promised to drill boreholes.
Nikisi refuted allegations that the chemical was cyanide and said they do not use cyanide during their processes.
“Yes, I can confirm there was a spillage but that situation is under control. As a company we don’t use cyanide as alleged. I have never heard of any affected livestock.
“As for the recruitment of their children, we were not involved. They selected the eight local people who are now working at the mine. If they duped each other that is not the company’s problem. I think some of those selected are not from the affected families but they are locals,” said Nikisi.

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