Mashonaland West Bureau
THE Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has challenged small-scale miners to reclaim mined pits in line with the country’s mining and environmental laws.
Speaking last Friday at Dalny Mine to commemorate Africa Environment Day, EMA’s Mashonaland West manager, Mr Rambwayi Mapako, said the country’s environment was under threat from unsustainable mining practices with small-scale miners failing to reclaim mined pits.
While the country’s gold production has of late been anchored on the small-scale miners whose 2021 activities contributed significantly towards the historical 32-tonne mark, he raised concerns over their failure to reclaim the mine shafts.
Small scale miners produced and delivered over 19 tonnes to Fidelity Printers and Refineries.
“Large-scale miners should buttress Government’s efforts of fighting for a good environment by providing mining knowledge and expertise to small-scale miners. They should be roped in during reclaiming exercises so that they learn how it is done.
“This is the sector that we need to work with to achieve environmentally friendly mining practices,” he said.
Mr Mapako added that the nation is faced with a mammoth task to refill thousands of square metres of land taken up by open cast mining pits.
Some of the pits were left unreclaimed by large-scale miners including the now-closed Mhangura Copper Mines posing great danger to people and livestock.
Mr Timothy Chizuzu, the provincial chairman of Zimbabwe Miners Federation, whose organisation is made of small-scale miners, encouraged fellow miners to conduct sustainable mining.
“We are strongly encouraging miners to reclaim their areas of work so that the land is reusable.”
In his interface meeting with small-scale miners from Chegutu and Sanyati district in Chegutu East constituency recently, Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister, Polite Kambamura said the government would issue mining certificates to complying miners.