Claims for panners at Durban Mine
out of the mine fearing arrest but by Tuesday last week, rescuers had convinced about 130 to come out.
Those who remained reportedly threatened to attack rescuers with machetes, although they had been without food in the shafts for five days. All are now out and the stand-off has since ended.
Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) spokesperson Mr Dosman Mangisi said the mine management had agreed to offer some claims to the illegal miners as a way to put an end to problems at the mine.
“Upon realising that the mine was failing to control the illegal miners who were invading the mine, we met with the company technical consultant, Mr Steve Smith and came to a resolution.
“The mine has since agreed to offer a number of claims dedicated to the illegal panners where they can legally operate. We are now working on a legal proposal to formalise the amakorokoza,” said Mr Mangisi.
He said not all amakorokoza would be taken on board, but many would benefit.
“On this proposal, we considered things like how many syndicates the mine would work with and many other factors,” said the ZMF spokesperson.
The mine manager, Mr Cleopas Sinyolo, last week told The Chronicle that the illegal miners were trapped after an unnamed businessman, who they each paid $70, withdrew a ladder that they used to enter the more than 120 metre deep mine.
The businessman allegedly panicked when mine owners called the police after the illegal panners, most of them from Shurugwi, Chegutu, Kadoma, Mashava, Murehwa and Zvishavane, invaded the mine to extract gold.
He said there had been a standoff since September 12 with scores of illegal miners refusing to come out of the mine shaft.
On Thursday, he said, they had managed to clear them all out, with the last four who had been found on the fourth and final level, having been arrested.-@ winnie_masara