- February 8, 2021
- Posted in LOCAL
The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development is investigating allegations of ill-treatment and slavery-like working conditions at KAZSHAM mine in Norton.
Rudairo Dickson Mapuranga
The investigations have come after, artisanal miners in a partnership with Mr. Kazzie, an Indian investor and owner of KAZSHAM mine, called on the government to intervene in the situation at the mine which they described as “horrible”.
A provincial Mines Director confirmed to Mining Zimbabwe that the government was conducting an investigation into the allegations and if the mine is found on the wrong side of the law there will be a possible shutdown of the mine.
“The ministry is conducting an investigation into the allegations in your story. Should there be a need to shut down, it was certainly be affected. It all depends on the findings of the investigating team.” She said.
The artisanal miners said Kazzie was treating them inhumanly despite the fact that they are working flat out to produce much gold for the mine.
Kazzie is also being accused of channelling a large chunk of the mine’s gold production to “smuggling” sighting it as the reason why he has been delaying to pay them their percentage as he receives part of the money after the gold reaches its destination.
The artisanal miners said the Indian investor bridged the contract they agreed in which he was supposed to meet all the operations cost-sharing profits at 75/25 with the miners with Kazzie being the sole buyer of the gold from the miners. However, the artisanal miners are said to be now meeting all the operations costs. Kazzie allegedly buys the gold at US$30 per gram meaning the miners are getting US$7.5 per gram with operational costs exceeding US$5 per gram milled.
“We had agreed with Mr Kazzie that he will meet all the operations costs but he has not obliged to our agreement. He has, however, threatened to shut down the mine whenever we confront him, he even pointed a gun at some of us.” The miners said.
KAZSHAM mine has not built a single toilet for the artisanal miners who are numbering up to 200 and over 99 percent of them are working without PPE.
The artisanal miners complained that they were operating at very high risk with their partner sometimes hiring soldiers to beat and intimidate them.
When Mining Zimbabwe approached the KAZSHAM owner in order for him to answer for the allegations raised by the miners, he denied us entry only allowing members of the Police and Norton Miners Association.