Govt ap­plauded for EIA waiver

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

THE En­vi­ron­ment Man­age­ment Agency (Ema) has re­laxed the process of ac­quir­ing of an En­vi­ron­men­tal Im­pact As­sess­ment (EIA) by small- scale min­ers, a move that has been hailed as sup­port­ive of the min­ing sec­tor.

The new move gives an EIA waiver to smallscale min­ers whose projects have an ini­tial cap­i­tal of less than $25 000.

To qual­ify, the small-scale and ar­ti­sanal min­ers are re­quired to be reg­is­tered and have an En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment Plan (EMP).

Ema en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact and ecosys­tems pro­tec­tion of­fi­cer for Mid­lands, Mr Phanuel Ku­dak­washe Mangisi said an EMP is given to min­ers whose cap­i­tal in­vest­ment is less than $25 000 and op­er­ate on reg­is­tered claims.

“We have de­signed an EMP guide­line for small-scale or ar­ti­sanal min­ers with reg­is­tered claims. This is only for those who do min­ing only and not pro­cess­ing. What was hap­pen­ing is that an EIA was more ex­pen­sive for smallscale min­ers in that it was done through an agent and the charges were not fixed. EIA was usu­ally 1,2 per­cent of the to­tal cap­i­tal in­vest­ment. So with the EMP we are go­ing to have less min­ing re­lated ac­ci­dents and deaths be­cause this guide­line will also ed­u­cate min­ers on how to do safe min­ing,” he said.

Small-scale min­ers con­trib­ute at least 60 per­cent of the coun­try’s to­tal gold out­put. Zim­babwe Min­ers Fed­er­a­tion spokesper­son, Mr Dos­man Mangisi ap­plauded Gov­ern­ment for recog­nis­ing the con­tri­bu­tion of small-scale and ar­ti­sanal min­ers to to­tal min­eral out­put and rev­enue gen­er­a­tion.

Mr Mangisi the EIA waiver by Gov­ern­ment will en­able a wider in­clu­sion of ar­ti­sanal min­ers into the for­mal min­ing sec­tor as well as en­hanc­ing pro­duc­tiv­ity. He said it also en­ables min­ers to have an ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the im­por­tance of en­vi­ron­ment.

“We want to ap­plaud Gov­ern­ment

for for­mu­lat­ing a pol­icy which gives an EIA waiver to small-scale min­ers whose projects have an ini­tial cap­i­tal of less than $25 000. Gov­ern­ment through En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment Agency (Ema) now re­quires the small-scale and ar­ti­sanal min­ers to have En­vi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment Plan (EMP). This means that all min­ers now need to reg­is­ter their claims and get an EMP which is pro­vided by Ema and then they start oper­at­ing. Most small-scale and ar­ti­sanal min­ers were oper­at­ing il­le­gally. As a re­sult, most of their pro­duce will then be sold on the par­al­lel mar­ket and Gov­ern­ment would lose mil­lions of dol­lars in po­ten­tial rev­enue. This waiver will en­able min­ers to for­malise their op­er­a­tions and be able to sell their gold to Fidelity,” he said.

Cen­ter for Con­flict Man­age­ment and Transformation (CCMT) has for long been ad­vo­cat­ing for the waiver ar­gu­ing that it was hin­der­ing small-scale and ar­ti­sanal min­ers from for­mal­is­ing their op­er­a­tions. CCMT projects of­fi­cer, Ms Alethea Taruvinga launched a vig­or­ous cam­paign for the re­lax­ation of the strin­gent con­di­tions in the min­ing sec­tor. Ms Taruvinga en­gaged min­ing com­mu­ni­ties in the Mid­lands on the im­por­tance of pre­serv­ing the en­vi­ron­ment.

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