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Mining and EnvironmentNews

Effects of Zimbabwe’s artisanal mining in pictures


By Lucy Tandi – Thursday 22 October 2020

LOCAL – HARARE (Mining Index) – 35 000 small-scale miners are duly registered in terms of the Mines and Minerals Act out of an estimated 1.5 million Artisanal and Small-scale Miners are operating in Zimbabwe.

This sector has from 2017, contributed over 60 percent of the national gold deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR).

While the nation appreciates gold output coming from the ASM sector, notable environmental damage has been made, with no rehabilitation. If not managed and contained, mining will soon become an eyesore on Zimbabwe’s environment.

The following images taken by the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) and the Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) depict what is going on in artisanal mining. Immediate planning and solutions need to be put in place to correct this.

Use of XRF detectors has significantly contributed to land degradation in most parts of the country.
No land rehabilitation after artisanal gold mining activities.
Cattle falling into mined pits at Umuzingwane


Timber grounded due to illegal mining: $15 million worth of timber plantation completely destroyed.


Destruction of infrastructure and grazing land at Matobo Research Station. 1000ha of grazing land destroyed in 2018
Massive land degradation due to small scale mining: Matebeleland South
Illegal mining occurring close to  Kwekwe Town infrastructure posing a risk to residents and infrastructure
Waste proliferation at one of the illegal mining camps
Un-rehabilitated open cast mining pit left at Pangani Mine in Filabusi: three people had drowned in this pit by 2012
Improper use and handling of chemicals by artisanal miners
Cyanide poisoning at a mine in Gweru
Before and after chrome mining
Miners cyanidation ponds resulting in the death of birds and dogs  in Kadoma. 28 cattle deaths at Ngundu FY2018.


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