ZMF spokesperson Dosman Mangisi
Informal small scale gold miners in the Midlands province remain resistant to the formaliz
sation processes proposed by government, Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) has said.
Most illegal miners remain wary of the authorities’ efforts to engage them by discussing modalities that can ensure sustainable extraction of the precious minerals.
ZMF spokesperson Dosman Mangisi told the media that, EMA should change its approach when dealing with informal small scale miners if land degradation is to be averted in mining areas.
“It may not be true that illegal miners don’t want to engage with authorities. ZMF has been successfully engaging these miners especially with regards to the formalization process. EMA should not go directly to informal miners but rather come through the ZMF and then we see the best way to approach the matter,” he said.
However, Informal gold miners continue to haul excuses of the consequent land degradation as unintentional but bemoaned wide lack of mining equipment and technical support.
Recently at a recent policy brief by Parliament says 200-500 square kilometres have been extensively damaged by artisanal miners while 155km of Mazowe River, one of the major rivers in the country, had its life destroyed by alluvial mining thus high need to formalize illegal miners.
“Although significant contributions have been made to the fiscus, artisanal miners have caused more harm than good, and costs outweigh benefits in the long run henceforth the need to regularize artisanal miners,” Parliament said.
Sustainable mining methods, Parliament’s study noted, should be promoted and inculcated among the artisanal miners in order to protect the interests of current and future generations, particularly in light of the damage on Mazowe River.
“The damaged areas are now characterized by deep pits, with sections of the river heavily silted and part of its course has been diverted,” Parliament’s research notes.
Several conflicts have also been reported between farmers and artisanal miners while the greatest concern for farmers was the irreversible damage inflicted on prime land and loss of livestock due to cyanide poisoning, abandoned pits and damage to grazing land.