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NRZ can’t access mining claims in SA: GM

“Each shareholder owns 33,3% apiece and the mining rights cover about 1,7 million hectares and it has vast mineral deposits that include manganese, limestone, platinum, copper, iron ore, lead, uranium and diamonds, among others."

ZIMBABWE and South Africa could be headed for another diplomatic showdown over approximately 1,7 million hectares of mining claims jointly owned by the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) and sister companies in the neighbouring country and Zambia.

Appearing before the joint parliamentary committees on Foreign Affairs and International Trade and Transport and Infrastructural Development yesterday, NRZ general manager Respina Zinyanduko said the block national transporter was facing challenges in exploiting its mineral claims in South Africa despite the vast potential wealth that can be generated from the deposits.

The properties owned by the NRZ include houses in Mozambique, Botswana and South Africa and mineral claims that are in South Africa.

Zinyanduko said the NRZ was failing to exploit the claims due to issues that are yet to be resolved with the South African government.

“What now remains in South Africa are mining rights that are linked to Cecil John Rhodes that are jointly owned by the NRZ, Zambia Railways and South Africa’s State mining entity called Africa Exploration Mining and Finance Corporation,” she said.

“Each shareholder owns 33,3% apiece and the mining rights cover about 1,7 million hectares and it has vast mineral deposits that include manganese, limestone, platinum, copper, iron ore, lead, uranium and diamonds, among others.

“These are being managed under a company called Pan African Mineral Development Company. This company has been facing some challenges and we have been trying to engage South Africa and the South Africans are not forthcoming.”

Zinyanduko also told legislators that South Africa’s Mineral Resources and Energy minister Gwede Mantashe had advised them in a meeting that the minerals were a donation to Zimbabwe and Zambia.

“The feeling was we were unduly benefiting and after realising that we were not getting any joy from South Africa, we escalated the matter to government so that the issue may be resolved at State level,” she said.

Zinyanduko said the NRZ was waiting for guidance from the Transport and Infrastructural Development ministry, adding that there were issues that were yet to be resolved between Zimbabwe and South Africa to enable the exploitation of the claims.

The claims were donated to the railway companies of the then Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) by Cecil John Rhodes.

South Africa was later incorporated into the ownership structure following the formation of a company called Pan African Minerals Development Company. – (Newsday)

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