GOLD deposits have reportedly been discovered at White Khami Farm in Insiza, with hundreds of illegal panners invading the area in search of the precious mineral, prompting the police to cordon off the area.

A villager from the area said they discovered the gold deposits a week ago, prompting gold panners from areas such as Esigodini, Gwanda, Matopo, Mberengwa and Shangani to throng the area.

“There is a lot of chaos at the site. Panners have been fighting over the control of gold deposits. The deposits are situated 5km from Filabusi turn-off, along Masvingo road,” said the villager who requested anonymity.

“On Saturday (November 23) there was a huge fight between panners with the area becoming a battlefield. Police officers have been deployed to control of the area, especially during the night.”

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Contacted for comment on Thursday, Matabeleland South police spokesperson Chief Inspector Philisani Ndebele confirmed the development, but dismissed reports of fights between panners.

“The gold rush has brought various gold panners from different places to do illegal mining and police officers are doing what they can to prevent the activities,” Ndebele said.

He warned that illegal panners face arrest.