When contacted Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) chairman Godwills Masimirembwa confirmed: “We have closed that mine , we acquired it from British Channel Islands mining company in 2006, but we have now discovered the emeralds from there are no longer of commercial value.”
“…we have abandoned Sandawana because very soon will embark on a multi- million dollar exploitation project of vast deposits of iron ore which we discovered just few kilometres from Sandawana mining site.”
When Radio VOP visited Sandawana Mine this week it witnessed that, the once thriving emerald mine now resembled a ghost town with all main gates locked up and only 15 security guards manning the mining site.
“Since the government took over this mine all has not been well, many people lost their jobs and were evicted from mining company houses. As you can see, there is no more Sandawana Mine to talk about. It is now a ghost town because of poor management and looting by the previous government,” said a headman from a village adjacent to Sandawana Mine.