Debshan Ranch owner sues small-scale miners for invading farm

THE proprietors of Shangani Ranch have filed an urgent High Court chamber application seeking an order to stop two small-scale miners from carrying out illegal mining activities at the farm.

BY SILAS NKALA

Debshan (Private) Limited also want the provincial mining director for Matabeleland North to cancel Feranando January and Ishmael Sithole’s mining licences.

In a founding affidavit filed on January 5, 2016, Collin Richard Edwards, the general manager of Debshan, represented by Jumo, Mashoko and Partners, submitted that January and Sithole, through their company FJ and IS Syndicate were carrying out illegal mining activities at the property.

“On or about December 16, 2015, I received a report from Steve Collins, a manager in the employ of the applicant, that on December 4, 2015 one Ishmael Maposa in the company of one Barron Dube approached him at the applicant’s Shangani Ranch and introduced themselves as members of FJ and IS Syndicate,” Edwards said.

He said the pair said they wanted to visit mining claims on the ranch which they claimed FJ and IS Syndicate were the holders of. He said Debshan’s security officers were assigned to escort the two men to the said claims.

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Edward said the men returned to the ranch on December 7 and said their claims were called Mbati 23 situated at Mahwe Section and they had mining certificates issued on March 26, 2012, and indicated that their syndicate was a holder of 150 copper claims in the ranch.

He also submitted that they told Collins that they intended to locate an old mine as they had a map of the ranch.

“Once again they were assigned two security guards to accompany them and they were with other 10 men they had deployed who had five metal detectors,” Edwards said.

He said they went away and came back on December 14 where they were later refused any further intrusion in the ranch after they tried to divert from carrying out their activities at the mines which they were licenced for and embarked on exploring other mineral deposits in the ranch.

Edwards added that on December 15 last year, January and Sithole and a team of over 150 workers invaded the ranch to prospect for and mine gold ore using metal detectors, picks and shovels and other hand tools.

“They operate mainly during the night. Their activities are concentrated mainly on an area of the ranch bordering Empandweni Farm,” he submitted.

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