via No blasting in Kwekwe – Sunday News Apr 10, 2016
THE Ministry of Mines and Mining Development has banned the use of explosives and blasting by gold mining claim owners around Globe and Phoenix in Kwekwe amid reports that some buildings in the town’s Central Business District and its eastern side were at risk of collapsing into disused cross cutting tunnels that run underneath.
Responding to questions from Environmental Management Agency (EMA) during a tour of Globe and Phoenix, Homestake Mining and Engineering Mine manager Mr Ignatius Shereni said the ministry had banned the use of explosives as well as blasting by mining claims around Kwekwe to reduce the risk being posed by the tunnels.
Homestake Mining and Engineering is overseeing tributaries issued by Globe and Phoenix to small scale miners in Kwekwe.
“The ministry has instructed us to stop blasting or using any explosive at the claims around Kwekwe town or underneath the city following reports that the cross cutting tunnels underneath the town that were abandoned by Globe and Phoenix when it ceased operations were posing a serious danger to the town,” he said.
The ministry once dispatched a team of officials led by Deputy Minister Fred Moyo to assess the extent of the risk after reports that some buildings in Kwekwe’s Central Business District and its eastern side were at risk of collapsing because of the tunnels that run underneath the town. The tunnels were left by some mining concerns which operated in the area.
Cde Moyo said the engineers conducted surveys and were going to compile a report on the findings before making recommendations which would be presented by Mines Minister, Cde Walter Chidhakwa before Cabinet.
Mr Christopher Goremusandu, who served as Midlands mining surveyor for over 20 years, once told Sunday News that Kwekwe was sitting on a time bomb that could explode anytime if no immediate action was taken. He said the ministry once engaged Kwekwe City Council so that they would not continue allocating stands to residents on the eastern side of the city.