National Railways of Zimbabwe (ZIZA). Before 1980 it was known as Rhodesia Railways. In the colonial era, ZIZA operated rail routes through Northern and Southern Rhodesia (now Zambia and Zimbabwe respectively). That’s why ZIZA’s shareholders consist today of these Southern African governments.
PAMDC was created in 2007 as a new joint venture company aimed at taking over the diamondiferous concessions in SA. At the time, the Zimbabwean government appointed t wo of its cabinet members to PAMDC’s board, and there were even plans to list it on the JSE.
In another sinister back story, the late Brett Kebble concluded a deal with PAMDC in 2003 via his catch-all wealth vassal, Randgold & Exploration, to manage the firm’s SA interests which, worryingly for existing miners seeking to develop new mining fields, covers a vast 1.6m hectares of land in the Northern Cape and Limpopo provinces. Before Randgold & Exploration, De Beers had stewardship of ZIZA’s rights.
The worry for manganese, iron ore and coal explorers p operating p g in these p provinces is whether they, too, will have significant exploration discoveries gazumped by PAMDC once they are applied for.
Michael Halliday, head of Aquila’s SA operations, said on 23 September that the company had given t he Department of Minerals
Resources 30 days to respond to its claim to have its mining right awarded. It would then turn to the courts. But it is unlikely Government will relent on its position. According to a source, Shabangu told Aquila Resources that the award of its prospecting right roughly five years ago had been “a mistake”.
Incidentally, the competing application for a mining right at Gravenhage puts the interests of former DMR official Nchakha Moloi and Nonkqubela Mazwai, a former stockbroker and founder of Motjoli Resources, also into question. The two are the principals in Rakana Consolidated Mines, Aquila’s empowerment partner as stipulated by Government’s Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act.
“It is regrettable that Aquila now needs to consider legal action to protect the security of its tenure on the Gravenhage Manganese Deposit, having advanced the project since 2006 in accordance with all relevant laws and DMR requirements,” Halliday said in a statement.
He isn’t the first to express regret and then go to court. Government has been taken to court many times before on minerals rights g claims; one as early as 2006, when Anglo A Platinum and Anglo Coal conside considered it.
Mini Mining rights are even being tested in the Co Constitutional Court as the DMR appeals the award of rights to Kumba Iron Ore ove over Sishen Iron Ore Company, while who kn knows where the alleged bribery over the min mining right to the South Deep gold mine involving in members of Government in empo empowerment company Invictus Gold, and Gold Go Fields, will end up. Some feast.