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Friday, July 19, 2024

Government working with Bikita Minerals on resumption of operations

Story by Mercy Bofu

The government is engaging Bikita Minerals for the company to comply with the country’s mining regulations and resume operations.

The Masvingo Provincial leadership convened a meeting with Bikita Minerals management and workers this Tuesday to iron out sticking issues that saw the government recommending temporary suspension of operations at the mine.

After the meeting, the Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Honourable Ezra Chadzamira said the lithium giant is currently working on addressing grey areas that have been red-flagged by the government for the mine to resume operations.

“We are happy with the developments that are happening here since last year, however, there have been issues raised relating to compliance with mining regulations and the welfare of workers,” noted Honorable Chadzamira.

“We are happy that the company is working on addressing those issues and soon operations will resume after meeting the requirements. There has been a miscommunication that the company is now closed, and we had to assure the community and workers that the current developments by the government are good for the community, workers and the investor,” he added.

Bikita Minerals, which employs 860 workers shelved operations on Monday and in a statement, Mine Manager Mr David Mwanza said the mining company will not be operating for the next seven days to address administrative concerns raised by authorities.

He added that they remain committed to fully complying with statutory requirements and expect to resume operations once all outstanding issues have been addressed.

The Ruling ZANU PF party leadership and the community applauded the government for showing commitment to ensuring a win-win situation between investors, workers and the community.

“After the meeting, we are happy that the company promised to address issues arising here including addressing the welfare of workers. This investment by the company benefits our community a lot hence we are concerned,” stated ZANU PF Masvingo Provincial Chairperson, Cde Robson Mavhenyengwa.

“Since the launch of this project a lot of our people were employed here and we welcome decisions by the government to ensure all mining regulations are followed as it protects us as a community and ensure we are empowered,” said Traditional leader, Chief Marozva.

Sinomine Resource Group from China took over Bikita Minerals last year and is currently putting up Spodumene and Petalite plants worth US$200 million to boost production and promote beneficiation.

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