Despite the Government of Zimbabwe imposing a ban on mining activities by the Chinese in Hwange National Park (HNP), the Asian tigers have defied the ban and now intend to continue with their activities in a bid to recover the US$3.7 million they invested for the venture.
Following an outcry that the Harare administration had given two Chinese companies mining grants to operate in HNP, on September 8, cabinet made a dramatic U-turn and effected a ban on mining activities in the national park.
However, the two Chinese companies Efrochine Energy and Zhongxin Mining Group, which invested about US$3.7 million in mining equipment, have reportedly defied the ban.
“There was a standoff between the Chinese investors and Government over the banning of mining activities at HNP, with the Chinese demanding that they be compensated for their losses or that they continue to mine until such time when their investment is fully recovered,” a source told the online Zim Morning Post.
Besides the purchased mining equipment, the Chinese are also claiming back exploration fees paid to companies that surveyed the area.
The Chinese are said to be pilling blame on Government for issuing out mining grants without following due processes.
“The Chinese are blaming Government for the losses incurred during the whole process hence they have said to continue exploring at HNP,” he added.
The two companies are part of the entities that were mining at the HNP without supporting documents.
Hwange National Park is the country’s largest wildlife reserve situated northwest of the capital Harare.
The Chinese’s special mining grants were cancelled after a public outcry, with the locals accusing the two companies of destroying their heritage and destroying the wildlife habitat.