EMA reduces fees for small scale miners:
ENVIRONMENT Management Agency (EMA) has come up with new mining guidelines that seek to cut down on the processes involved in the application of Environmental Impact Assessments and reduce the cost for small scale and artisanal miners.
Small scale and artisanal miners have been evading the law and working on their claims without the EIAs owing to the high cost of have them done.
EMA Manicaland provincial manager Mr Kingstone Chitotombe said the new guidelines sought to remove from the picture EIA consultants who charged miners anything between $1 500 and $3 000 for their services.
“We have cut down on the processes of acquiring an Environmental Impact Assessment by designing new small scale mining regulations that can be used by small scale and artisanal miners.
“There were too many players in the process of acquiring EIAs and the miners used to complain over fees charged by the EIA consultants. So the new guidelines seek to eliminate those consultation fees which could be anything from $1 500 to over $3 000 depending on the consultant they used. The cut down processes resulted in the reduction of the fees required for an EIA to $253,” he said.
He said the guidelines would improve efficiency and ensure that miners mine sustainably.
Mr Chitotombe said the guidelines were already functional but there had been few miners who had come forward to apply for EIAs.
“At the moment the small scale and artisanal miners have not been coming in because they do not know about the new arrangement yet. So we are planning an awareness campaign to make them aware of the facility.
“We call on those miners who have not done their EIAs to approach any EMA office and ask for help on the guidelines so that they can get their EIAs,” he said.
Zimbabwe Miners Federation president Mrs Henrietta Rushwaya said the reduction of EIA fees was a welcome development which would ensure that small scale and artisanal miners conducted their business sustainably.
“Now that this fee has been reduced, I am asking our members to mine in a sustainable manner. Where we have mined, we should close the pits and rehabilitate them or even create fish ponds that they fence so that they don’t put animal and human lives in danger,” she said
ZMF president Mrs Henrietta Rushwaya