THE Ministry of Mines and Mining Development has reportedly awarded a firm with suspected links to the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), Terrestrial Holdings, a licence to export one million tonnes of raw lithium ore annually, the Zimbabwe Independent reported.
This comes after the government early this year gave the Zimbabwe Defence Industries (ZDI) a permit to export raw lithium, a development that triggered public outrage, which led to the deal stalling.
However, CIO director-general Isaac Moyo said he knew nothing about the export permit when contacted by the Independent.
“I don’t know anything about those things. So, l don’t know how to comment,” Moyo said.
Mines ministry permanent secretary Pfungwa Kunaka referred questions to Terrestrial Holdings.
“About Terrestrial, I would need to establish the facts, which may require time. The best would be for you to contact them directly,” Kunaka said
When contacted for comment, Terrestrial managing director Kumbirai Nyamande said: “Let me seek approval first to comment. Call me back after 10-15 minutes.” In a later interview, he said: “I am sorry, authority not granted.
But what I can say (about) that licence is that I don’t know about it. So whatever information you write about TH (Terrestrial Holdings) get it from the Ministry of Mines.”