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Murowa Diamonds accused of causing cracks in village houses

By Own Correspondent 

ZVISHAVANE (Mining Index) – VILLAGERS living near Murowa Diamonds have alleged that periodic blasting to extract diamonds has damaged their houses causing serious cracks.

Residents of Murowa, Indaba, Mutambi, Mhototi, and Davira revealed they have endured the cracks since Murowa started diamond production in 2004.

“We are facing problems with the blasting that happen at the mine. This started when Murowa began mining operations years ago. Our houses have been cracking ever since,” said one affected villager (name withheld).

He added that houses built close to the mine have been the most affected from blast vibrations. “I can say houses built within 30 kilometres from the mine have suffered cracks due to weekly blasting from Murowa.”

According to villagers, Murowa, blasts twice a week to extract diamonds from open-cut hard rock mining operations.

Blasting is an essential component of surface mining which uses explosives to blow up the land to access diamonds beneath.

He said residents reported their concerns to Murowa Diamonds officials, after which a geologist was sent to ascertain and study the cracks on several households. “The geologist gave a report concluding the cracks had nothing to do with the blasts from the mine.”

An environmental activist who lives in Zvishavane confirmed the developments.

“It is true some people close to Murowa Diamonds have complained of cracks developing and worsening with continuous blasts from the mine. The problem was highlighted and we are yet to collect hard evidence,” she said.

Residents called on government to make legislation that enforce mining companies to limit the size and frequency of the blasts to protect nearby residences from property damage. If destruction occurs, the law should outline the compensation process. ENDS// www.miningindex.co.zw

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