Munyaradzi Musiiwa Midlands Correspondent
GOVERNMENT has granted an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) waiver to small scale and artisanal miners, as it moves to eliminate stringent conditions that have been inhibiting them from formalising their operations and declaring their proceeds.
Small scale and artisanal miners only have to get an Environmental Management Plan (EMP). The Environmental Management Agency’s environmental impact and ecosystems protection officer for Midlands Mr Phanuel Kudakwashe Mangisi said the EMP is given to miners whose capital investment is less than $25 000 and to registered claims.
“We have designed an EMP guideline for small scale or artisanal miners with registered claims,” he said. “This is only for those who do mining only and not processing. What was happening is that an EIA was more expensive for the small scale miners in that it was done through an agent and the charges were not fixed. EIA is 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.” Small scale miners, which contribute at least 60 percent of the country’s total gold output, hailed Government for the waiver.
Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) spokesperson, Mr Dosman Mangisi, applauded Government for recognising the contribution of small scale and artisanal miners.