By Business Reporter – Wednesday 9 September 2020
HARARE (Mining Index) – GOVERNMENT yesterday announced a ban on all riverbed, alluvial and mining on areas held by national parks.
The move is expected to put in place measures to carry out sustainable and orderly mining in the sector.
“All riverbed alluvial and riverbed mining on rivers is banned with immediate effect, except on the Save and Angwa rivers where desiltation will be allowed under very strict conditions,”
“Mining on areas held by National Parks is banned with immediate effect. Steps are being undertaken to immediately cancel all mining title held in National Parks,” said Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services minister Monica Mutsvangwa at a post cabinet media briefing yesterday.
The ban follows cabinet consideration on a research paper co-presented by the Ministers of Mines and Mining Development, together with Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry on the status of riverbed mining/drenching and the environmental challenges in Zimbabwe.
In recent years, the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has been lamenting on the extensive use of gold detectors by artisanal and small-scale gold miners which they say has caused serious environmental injustices posing risk to livestock and human health, leaving scars of environmental damage resulting from exploration, extraction and processing of minerals, that require millions of dollars to correct.
Having noted such challenges and the need formalise mining, cabinet directed the need for all miners holding mining concessions, to be given a grace period, to be announced to obtain Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and State of Works Plan acceptance by the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.
“It was noted that the granting of a Mining Concessions through mining claims and on special grant is not a license for resumption of mining. All holders of mining title are required to obtain approval of EIA and acceptance of Site Plan Works by the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development. This position will be strictly reinforced by the two Ministries responsible for Mines and Environment,”
“Those who fail to regularize EIA and Site Plan Works will be deemed to be operating illegally and will be subject to stiff penalties which are being reviewed,”
“The whole objective is to have all mining operations conducted in a manner which does not harm the environment. Stiff penalties shall be aimed at all those who are not complying with environmental provisions,” said Mutsvangwa. ENDS// www.miningindex.co.zw
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