Duration Gold, the mining company at the centre of exploration at the billionaire Oppenheimer family’s 65 000-hectare ranch in Zimbabwe, says it’s carrying out “game-changing” work in line with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s aim to build a R192-billion mining industry by 2030.
The Oppenheimers got wind of the operation after workers at Shangani Ranch – which has 8 000 cattle, an unknown number of elephants and wildlife – spotted a plane flying over the ranch on 2 June and recorded the tail registration of the aircraft.
The plane was tracked to South African company Pearline Mineral Exploration, which then revealed that it had been hired by Duration Gold for mineral exploration.
On 6 June, Max Makuvise from Shangani Ranch met with Duration Gold officials, who told him what they were up to.
In an email communication, Duration Gold demanded a map of the property to make their exploration work easier.
“Would you kindly furnish us with a map showing the limits of Shangani Ranch and, if possible, the other neighbouring conservancies. It will help us to be able to plot the conservancies to guide us when we do ground exploration,” read the email.
Shangani Ranch then sought a court order to block exploration, which was granted while Pearline Mineral Exploration, at the behest of Duration Gold, sought paper work, such as the environmental impact assessment report.
In a statement, Duration Gold said it “launched an exciting, large-scale, exploration programme. Roping in world leader Xcalibur Airborne Geophysical Surveys from South Africa, the programme will culminate in the nation having a better appreciation of its mineral potential”.
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