The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority (Zimparks) authorised a Chinese company, Yuxian County ZhongXin Coking Company Limited, to drill and explore for coal within the Hwange National Park.
In a letter dated 31 July 2020, addressed to the Chinese company’s chairman, Liu Jianshen, Zimparks director-general, Fulton Upenyu Mangwanya, granted Yuxian permission to conduct drilling at concession SG5767 inside the national park. Mangwanya wrote:
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Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority has taken note that Yuxian County ZhongXin Coking Company Limited, a Chinese investment company with three subsidiaries registered and operating in Zimbabwe, namely Zimbabwe ZhongXin Coking Company (Pvt) Ltd, Zimbabwe ZhongXin Electrical Energy (Pvt) Ltd, and Zimbabwe ZhonXin Smelting Company (Pvt) Ltd, working with the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) has applied for coal mining in Hwange National Park.
Permission to drill and explore at the cited concession (SG5767) has been granted subject to satisfying all other conditions for exploration as required under applicable regulations.
This permission is not for mining which will have to be applied for separately. Kindly note that consultations are still ongoing regarding your intention to mine inside Hwange National Park.
By accepting the contents of this letter, your company shall indemnify the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe and/ or Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and their representatives against litigations for loss of businesses if your company fails to secure a permit to mine in the park.
Hwange National Park is the most prestigious national park in Zimbabwe, a haven for wildlife heritage and a core component of the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area that is receiving the highest level of legal protection in the country.
This park carries the national flag because of its nationally, regionally, and internationally acclaimed outstanding universal values that we endeavour to conserve and protect.
I request you to be sensitive to the business operations of the leaseholders and local tourists in the area as you do your preliminary assessments.
Your cooperation with management on the ground will help ensure smooth operations and avoid unnecessary conflicts which happened before, on your last visit to the
Be guided accordingly and thank you for your understanding.