Mpofu threatens to cancel all ACRs mining licences

obert_mpofu3Mines Minister Obert Mpofu (pictured) has said that the all the licences awarded to a British based mining firm, which used to operate out of Chiadzwa, will be cancelled.

The group, African Consolidated Resources (ACR), has been fighting a protracted legal battle to have its Chiadzwa claim returned, after being kicked off the site at gunpoint in 2006. The government, through its mining parastatal the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), took over the site and started mining under two joint venture mining agreements. The joint ventures, Mbada and Canadile, have been linked to high level corruption involving top ZANU PF officials, who have been plundering Chiadzwa for their own gains.

ACR meanwhile has mining interests in other sectors in Zimbabwe, including platinum, gold and nickel. But Mpofu has this week threatened to revoke all the licences granted to the group, saying all of them were acquired fraudulently.

ACRs Chiadzwa licence is already being contested after the High Court in September rescinded a 2009 ruling, which stated that ACR was the legal Chiadzwa site owner. The company has appealed this decision, but despite the ongoing fight over who has legal ownership there, diamond mining has continued.

It is widely thought that Mpofus threats against ACR are linked to Robert Mugabes warning last week that Western companies may face sanctions if the targeted sanctions against the regime are not lifted. Mugabe said at the ZANU PF conference in Mutare last week that it was time to read the riot act to the British, and other western states for refusing to lift the targeted sanctions on the ruling elite. But Mpofu has denied that the threatened action against ACR is linked to Mugabes comments, saying only that ACRs licences will be revoked because there were irregularities when they were issued.

ACR chief executive, Andrew Cranswick, has told the Bloomberg news service that none of our claims were improperly acquired. He added: “We will do everything we can to protect our rights.

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *