Senior Business Reporter
THE Bulawayo City Council has granted a development permit to Masamvu and Dasilva (Pvt) Limited to establish a gold processing and elution plant in Kelvin East light industrial zone.
Gold elution process is a technique used to extract precious metals from ore, usually associated with gold mining.
According to the latest council report, the installation of equipment such as a furnace and other processing stations has been constructed. However, the processing of gold has not started.
Members of the Town Lands and Planning Committee inspected the premises on November 15. However, based on the report, the application divided councillors as some felt the firm should be charged a US$1 000 regularisation fee.
Those advocating for a regularisation fee said construction or placing of equipment before approval attracted a regularisation fee. They said the procedure was to acquire a development permit before any construction or installation of equipment saying precedence should be set.
On the other hand, some were against the regularisation fees saying construction and setting up of equipment were permitted.
In response, the Director of Town Planning, Mr Wisdom Siziba, said the applicant had not started processing gold.
“He had only started installation of equipment for the processing of gold. There was no need to charge regularisation fees.
“Regularisation fees were only charged when an applicant had started operating without a development permit,” he said.
“The only thing that could be sought was to confirm if the plans had been submitted and approved. Regularisation fee is charged to someone who had already started operations so as to regularise the operations.”
Mr Siziba said while the applicant had not started operations, construction and setting up of equipment were allowed and it did not attract a regularisation fee.
Council has since resolved to recommend granting Masamvu and Dasilva (Pvt) Ltd a development permit and pay a regularisation fee of US$1 000.
Article Source: The Chronicle