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Minister decries pollution by miners

10/10/2017 00:00:00
by Midlands Correspondent
Pollution concern ... Oppah Muchinguri

GOLD miners in the Midlands province misusing mercury should regularise their operations within a month to avoid the discharge of the hazardous substance in the environment, Environment, Climate and Water minister Oppah Muchunguri has said.

Muchinguri said the discharge of dangerous substances in mining such as mercury and cyanide has led to the loss of animal life in the province.

"Ladies and gentlemen, real cases of concern in mercury misuse have been recorded in the Wanderer area where over 1,000 illegal miners have set up 56 ball mills and hammer mills for gold extraction," Muchinguri said last week in Lower Gweru during her ministry's provincial outreach meeting.

"I call upon all those that are operating outside the confines of the law to regularise their operations within a month and uphold the best practices and self-regulation."

Midlands province has 118 registered mining operations that use cyanide concurrently with mercury in gold production.

This year the province has so far recorded seven cattle deaths as a result of the mishandling of cyanide.

"I urge all such operations to ensure that they have a closed system which does not allow the discharge of cyanide lace effluent into the environment," she said.

Muchinguri said illegal mining activities were causing to massive land degradation in the province.

She also said un-rehabilitated pits left by major mining companies caused loss of both human and animal life.

"We have well documented records of people dying in the pits especially in Mapanzure area in Zvishavane where seven deaths have been recorded from the open pits left by miners," said Muchinguri.

"There is also an un-established number of cattle deaths witnessed in Mhondongori area in Zvishavane."


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