Metallon subsidiary dragged to court over cyanide spill

HARARE - A Zimbabwean gold mine has been taken to court after a fish farmer claimed he had lost business worth $200 000 following a cyanide spill into a river feeding into the aquatic venture’s dam.

Douglyn Farm (Private) Limited filed a High Court application against Metallon Gold Zimbabwe’s Shamva mine demanding money for loss of business.

The mine is one of five gold operations owned by South African tycoon Mzi Khumalo in Zimbabwe.

The court heard that the gold mine, which is located about three kilometres upstream from the farm dam emitted cyanide into Mushambanyama River. According to court papers, the river feeds into the farm dam.

“Plaintiff (Douglyn Farm)’s fish farming business and operations were adversely affected, which included fish death through cyanide poisoning, the shutdown of fish capture, process, marketing and sales and destruction of fish feeding stock,” reads part of the application.

Douglyn Farm said the gold mine acted negligently by failing to take reasonable steps to ensure proper maintenance and efficiency of its pumps to its cyanide waste tanks.

The farm said it should have been notified of the spillage and now they are demanding $200 857 for the death of fish and loss of business.

“It (Shamva Gold Mine) failed to promptly inform relevant authorities including the ministry of Health and Environmental Management Agency of the spillage,” Douglyn Farm said.

However, Shamva Gold Mine dismissed the allegations as “baseless”, since according to its investigations, there were no fish deaths that were recorded.

“An investigation team also found that the concentration of cyanide in the dam was 0, 01mg which is within the legal requirement. Defendant (Shamva Gold Mine) avers that deaths were recorded upstream of Musambanyama stream in an area outside Defendant’s sphere of operations,” the mine said.

The matter is still to be allocated a date for hearing in the High Court. - Tendai Kamhungira

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.