Marange develops 'cold feet'

HARARE - The ongoing dispute between Core Mining and Marange Resources has taken a new twist with Marange developing “cold feet” in its High Court urgent chamber application filed to block the commencement of an arbitration process.

Marange Resources and Core Mining were due to appear before retired judge Moses Chinhengo, who was appointed by the Law Society of Zimbabwe to handle the matter and ensure an amicable solution that would see both parties’ investments being protected. But Marange rushed to the High Court seeking an order to stop the mediation process.

Core Mining was hounded out of Canadile, a joint venture company formed by the two companies, and all its investment vanished into thin air.

The Lovemore Kurotwi-led company approached an arbitrator to have its investments protected but Marange Resources is opposed to that route and rushed to the High Court seeking an urgent order to trash the arbitration process.

Marange says the arbitrator has no jurisdiction to deal with the dispute as the deal between the two companies was “null and void” due to the “termination and collapse of Canadile Miners”.

Canadile collapsed when its directors, who include Kurotwi, were arrested on allegations of fraud.

However, when they appeared before High Court judge Mary Dube yesterday, Marange Resources requested more time to consult their parent company, Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, before proceeding with their “urgent chamber application for an interdict”.

Core Mining, represented by Kurotwi, opposed the application to block the arbitration process saying Marange was “buying time and seeking to avoid submitting itself before an arbitrator”.

“The application is not urgent as the applicant (Marange) will have this honourable court to believe. I submit that applicant seems to be suffering from serious misconception,” said Kurotwi in his affidavit filed with the High Court.

Through his lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, Kurotwi wants an arbitrator who has since been appointed to intervene and ensure that his interests and investment in mining of Chiadzwa diamonds is protected.

According to the joint venture agreement signed between Core Mining and Marange resources, any dispute that would have arisen between the two should be resolved through arbitration.

“Any dispute which may arise as a result of the interpretation or application of this agreement which cannot be resolved within a period of (30) thirty days shall be referred to arbitration.

“The arbitration takes place under the auspices of the commercial arbitration centre in Harare,” reads the signed agreement. - Xolisani Ncube

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