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Mining and EnvironmentNews

Govt urges miners to ‘protect’ environment as Kwekwe infrastructure collapses into mine tunnels

KWEKWE District Development Coordinator Fortune Mupungu has called for responsible mining in the town that has borne the brunt of unregulated mining leading to the sinking of schools and roads into tunnels.

The gold mining city has also seen houses cave in due to illegal mining activities, while gold panners were massed into a historical property that once housed Queen Elizabeth.

Speaking during a recent mining indaba, Mupungu said “It will be self-defeating that we have contributed to the US$12 billion mining economy while at the same time we are destroying roads and schools. It’s really self-defeating. I urge you as miners to protect our environment.”

Mupungu added that small-scale and artisanal miners have a critical role to play in disaster management and mitigation.

“My office is not only responsible for coordinating development in the district but also for disasters. When disaster strikes in the district, the first port of call is our office. While we don’t want disasters to befall us, it is critical to be always prepared in case they strike. That’s the reason why we are talking about disaster management and mitigation,” he said.

Added Mupungu: “In Silobela we work with Jena Mines which assists us in terms of all the logistical needs when disaster strikes in that area. We are also trying to identify other miners to work with in Kwekwe Urban, and Zhombe as we work on deepening cooperation,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mupungu said artisanal and small-scale miners play a critical role in achieving the mining economy as envisaged by the government.

“It is exciting to mention that the government has registered some achievements in mining. The government has set to achieve a US$12 billion mining economy, by 2025 it is pleasing to note that the target has already been surpassed. We attribute the success to the role played by small scale and artisanal miners as they contributed greatly towards the development.” – (New Zimbabwe)

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