Gold mining giant RioZim has filed a lawsuit at the High Court seeking to recover over US$202 million from Falcon Resources for chrome ore it alleges was stolen during its long drawn out dispute with the latter.
RioZim was embroiled in a dispute with Falcon Resources over chrome mining claims in the Darwendale area along the country’s large mineral belt, the Great Dyke.
The legal dispute between the two combatant parties was finally put to rest after the Supreme Court in November last year upheld the RioZim’s appeal to be declared the holder of title at the disputed area.
The gold mining conglomerate is a holder of 260 mining claims in the Darwendale area of Mashonaland West province.
Some of its chrome ore mining claims, situated partly on Darwendale South Eclipse, New Burnside, and Darwendale B Farms, had been declared a cantonment area by the military, but given to Falcon Resources which has been mining chrome.
During all this period Falcon Resources and its co-defendant Rusununguko/Nkululeko Pvt LTD were extracting chrome from the disputed claims, until the Supreme Court reversed the High Court decision last year.
It is the Supreme Court ruling last year, that has sparked fresh litigation with RioZim this time approaching the High Court claiming US$2,096,408, which is the net processed value of the chrome stolen by the two other companies cited as the respondents in the suit.
It’s also demanding US$209,640,87 being the cost of rehabilitating the mining site mined illegally by Falcon and Rusununguko Nkululeko Pvt Ltd.
Rio Zim claimed in its papers that it carried out a survey whose results showed that a total 1,415 tonnes with a grade of 50% run-of mine chrome were mined by the defendants.
As a result of the defendants’ illegal mining at the said claim, Rio Zim allegedly lost 707 tonnes of contained chrome.
“The market value of chrome (47% to 55%) as at the date of the delict was US$1,345 per pound or US$2,965 per tonne of the contained chromium hence the value of 707 tonnes of chrome ore as at the 6th of June 2018 is US$2,096,408, the defendants are liable to pay the plaintiff this full sum,” reads the summons.
Falcon Resources (Pvt) Ltd has two directors, who are also the only shareholders, Mohammed Tariq Aziz, a Pakistan national and Aneeqa Zubair, a Dutch national.
In the Supreme Court it was found that the High Court misdirected itself by refusing to confirm the provisional order obtained by Riozim to block the illegal mining activities on its claims.
The unanimous view of the court was that the judgment of the High Court was clearly wrong and confirmed the provisional order.
High Court judge, Justice Happias Zhou had dismissed RioZim application for confirmation of the provisional order on the basis that there were material disputes of fact not capable of resolution on the papers.
He said the dispute required the involvement of the Minister of Mines and Mining Development to resolve as it pertained to title to a mining claim hence it would be untidy to refer the matter to trial on the bulky papers filed and in circumstances where an interested party had not been joined.
Falcon Resources and its co-defendant are yet to respond to the claim.