By Prosper Ndlovu
The 22kg of gold valued at about $800 000 that was being transported by a Central Air Traffic Services (CATS) aircraft that crash-landed in Kennilworth, Bubi District on Tuesday, belongs to Bulawayo Mining Company also known as How Mine.
The mine is a subsidiary of Metallon Corporation Zimbabwe (Pvt) Limited, which also owns Shamva, Redwing and Mazowe Mines.
Since the accident on Tuesday, there has been speculation as to where the gold was sourced from and its destination.
Metallon said yesterday that the plane that crash-landed was transporting the gold “on behalf of a private security firm” believed to be Fawcett Security.
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The plane developed a mechanical fault soon after taking off from Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport in Bulawayo forcing the pilot to crash-land.
“The plane was carrying gold from Bulawayo Mining Company (How Mine) for delivery to Fidelity Printers and Refiners in Harare,” said the company in a statement.
It said established protocol for such incidents was followed and all relevant security and aviation authorities were alerted with no major injuries sustained.
“The local Bubi police attended the scene and a helicopter from the Airforce of Zimbabwe’s Manyame Airbase was on hand to safely transport the cargo onward to Fidelity.”
The Cessna 206 Aircraft took off from the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport on Tuesday afternoon heading to Charles Prince Airport in Harare and had two people on board.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ), the pilot sent a distress signal soon after taking off when he noticed that the engine had developed a technical fault.
“The pilot communicated that he had lost the engine and indicated that he would glide and find a reasonable and safe place to land.
“Air traffic control at JM Nkomo Airport lost contact with the pilot and this triggered a search. The Air Force of Zimbabwe dispatched two aircraft and one helicopter to rescue the crew,” CAAZ acting general manager Mr Blessing Ngwarai said.
He said when the aircraft crash-landed, one person on board sustained minor injuries.
Villagers in Bubi said the aircraft flew a few metres above their homesteads before they heard a loud noise a few kilometres away. The Chronicle