ZANU PF MP for Mabvuku-Tafara Pedzai Scott Sakupwanya says he is not the legal owner of Redwing Mine where 15 mine workers were trapped four days ago before they were rescued yesterday.
Sakupwanya, a prominent gold trader, says he was previously approached by former workers at the mine when it was under business rescue to invest and operate under some tributary arrangements.
In a statement, Sakupwanya, whose company BetterBrands is a major gold buyer, says he does not own Redwing Mine, contrary to some media reports which claim he does.
“Redwing Mine, where some miners were trapped for three days before they were later rescued, is not owned by BetterBrands or myself.
The mine is owned by Metallon Corporation. What transpired is that a few years ago the mine went into administration and workers, who were then owed some money, approached the High Court so that it was put under business rescue, while they looked for an investor and this was granted.
At some point in the process we approached its administrators who granted us permission to invest, mine under tributary arrangements and address the workers’ concerns. However, this does not mean that we own the mine. Besides the workers who were trapped underground are not from our company, Betterbrands.
The statement issued by Metallon after the incident alludes to the facts above. It’s strange that when reports first came out that miners were trapped, it was reported that we own the mine, but now that they were rescued (thank God for the intervention) the same people say the same mine is owned by Metallon.
The fact of the matter is that the mine is owned by Metallon despite complex issues that were involved before, during and after administration,” he said.
The gold mine, located 50km west of Mutare, is owned by Metallon controlled by South African tycoon Mzi Khumalo.
Metallon now runs three mines – How Mine, Mazowe and Redwing.
Initially they were five of them including Shamva and Arcturus.
But Metallon sold some of its mines.
Khumalo founded Metallon in 2001 as the main shareholder.
He purchased the assets in Zimbabwe from Lonmin in 2002.
After running into serious operational problems, Metallon was placed under business rescue following an application by the Associated Mineworkers Union of Zimbabwe.
However, the Khumalo-led group challenged the process, citing numerous procedural flaws.
Several companies had in the meantime claimed ownership until the removal of the mine from corporate rescue by the Supreme Court in 2022.
The gold mine has been subject of damning reports of plunder and smuggling by artisanal miners contracted by Prime Royal Mining, mine workers, local community gold dealers, unregistered millers, registered buyers, and also officers from the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Zimbabwe National Army.
During the corporate rescue period, Redwing Mine entered into tributary arrangements with different players who were trying to ensure it remained in operation.
The gold mine had a resource of 2.5 million ounces of gold, according to the Mineral Reserve Statement of December 2016.
In its heyday, it contributed a lot to economic stabilisation, employment and paying taxes