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Bubi mine wrangle takes new twist

THE ownership wrangle over a gold mining claim in Bubi district between the Siyazama syndicate and one Innocent Makope has taken a new twist after the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development repossessed the claim.

The syndicate which runs the Lui Trovie Mine under Nyoni Family Holdings in Sijawukwe ward 9, have been involved in a dispute with Makope whom they accuse of illegally occupying their mine.

Lui Trovie alleges that they assumed ownership of the mine in October 1986 but the claim was forfeited in 2017 after they failed to pay for it.

Makope then reportedly assumed control of the mine claim.

The new development comes after the syndicate roped in Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) and approached the mines ministry last week seeking clarity on the ownership wrangle.

Prior to this, the syndicate had approached Bilboes Holdings which owns the Exclusive Prospecting Order (EPO) under which the claim falls, seeking to have the area re-pegged.

However, in a letter dated June 23, 2021, addressed to Jones Bishi the Group Geology Manager at Bilboes Holdings, Farai Ngulube the Matabeleland North provincial mining director, noted that the claim had been repossessed as it was located in a reserved area.

“Having taken time to consider the contents of your letter of complaint dated 26 May 2021, it has come to our notice that your EPO 1646 lies within the reserved area number MTN005 as at 29 March 2021,” read the letter.

“Note that in terms of section 35 of the Mines and Minerals Act Chapter21:05, all rights you possessed prior to reservation of the area ceased when MTN005 was delineated.”

Ngulube added that “Accordingly, be advised that any rights purportedly exercised after 29 March 2021 are of no force or effect and thus invalid.”

In a separate letter to the Sijawukwe community who had lobbied the mines ministry to evict Makope from the claim, Ngulube said the dispute was a civil matter and “the local leadership with the assistance of law enforcement agents would be more qualified to handle them.”

Ngulube added that “Innocent Makope holds a valid claims registration certificate number17214BM. However, Bilboes Holdings Private Limited has lodged a dispute over the mining title. The Provincial Mining office is handling the case.”

Contacted for a comment, Bishi said he was not authorised to discuss the issue with the media.

Makope told CITE that he had assumed control of the claim legally.

“What I have discovered is that these guys lie a lot. In 2010 I applied for a claim and I got the certificate in 2011. When I got the certificate I then went to start prospecting and I went to ask around who used to work there because in the mining business mines forfeit and anyone from anywhere is allowed to re-peg, even Chinese people can peg,” said Makope.

He added that he roped in some some of the members of the Nyoni Family Holdings to work on the mine before they later ditched.

After running into some financial trouble Makope stop the mining activities and when he tried to resume he find some people had occupied the mine.

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