Judge saves mine from closure as major road faces collapse  

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By Staff Reporter

High Court judge, Justice Amy Tsanga has saved a local mining company, Korzim Strategic Minerals (Pvt) Ltd whose operations risked being halted for causing serious environmental degradation.

The court was told that as a result of the mining activities the road above that tunnel now stands suspended by only four metres of ground above it.

Tsanga, sitting at the Harare High Court ruled that the company which sued Korzim, Auriga Mineral Exploration (Pvt) Ltd had no interest in saving the environment but had personal scores to settle.

“A clear right had not been established because what exists between the parties is a mining dispute. Both are legitimately in the area but for different purposes.

“Disputes such as this present challenges for resolution on an urgent basis for several reasons.

“Truth does not come easily where the fight is in reality a scramble for resources.

“Non-disclosure of facts renders a matter non-urgent. I do not believe that the applicant has approached this court driven by the desire to avert harm from occurring.

“That the parties are quibbling over gold ought to have been disclosed instead of pretending to be an environmental Good Samaritan out to save lives,” said the judge.

The applicant in the matter was Auriga Mineral Exploration (Pvt) Ltd, a holder of an Exclusive Prospecting Order Number 1806 (EPO 1806) which it says was issued in 2021 for three years has brought this urgent application for an interdict.

Auriga said Korzim has dangerously mined across a road by constructing a tunnel underneath it on the Shamva–Nyagande Road.

The company said it detected mining activities in its prospecting area in November 2023 through satellite images and went on an investigative mission to the site.

It found dangerous workings on site and given the tunnel which it says Korzim had constructed, it approached without delay the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) on the 6th of November 202.

EMA is said to have recommended that the applicant approach the courts for an order to stop the first respondent from mining.

Auriga also said the road mentioned earlier had developed a crack on the 13km peg.

Korzim said Auriga had no locus standi to approach the courts and that the EPO 1806 does not permit it to encroach into their space.

The judge said if Auriga meant well it would have sought an order for the road to be closed.

“One would have thought that the Samaritan’s interim interdict would have been primarily that the road be closed whilst urgent steps are taken to have the tunnel filled.

“It makes zero sense that a road in danger of imminent collapse and hanging by the proverbial thread albeit in the form of four metres of earth, would continue to be used by heavy trucks who are also mining in the area.

“I therefore do not believe that the requirements of an interdict have been satisfied.

“Whilst the applicant indeed has an EPO, the first respondent also has a valid mining licence. In so far as imminent harm, it is notable that what applicants seek is the seizure of all mining activities for its own goals,” ruled the judge.