Small-scale miners told to stop operations

04 Feb, 2022 - 00:02 0 Views
Small-scale miners told to stop operations

The Herald

Herald Reporters

Small-scale miners are risking their lives when they carry on with their mining activities in the middle of the rainy season.

Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister Polite Kambamura has called on small-scale miners to halt operations until the rains subside and it is safe for them to get back to work.

Besides the normal rains, tropical depression Ana brought heavy rains last week and now Cyclone Batsirai, still far away around Mauritius, could affect the country’s weather next week depending on its course and strength.

Deputy Minister Kambamura said the increased rains were likely to result in easy-to-collapse diggings and flash flooding in the mining communities and surrounding areas, plus flooding in waterways, rivers and vleis and water soaked ground, which leads to an unstable mining environment.

“The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development is therefore appealing to all miners to suspend operations in areas that have a high risk of faulting until such a time that the weather conditions are favourable.

“The Ministry has also advised all the provincial mining offices to keep alert and prepared to deal with the possible dangers that may be caused by tropical Cyclone Batsirai,” he said.

Even the large formal-sector miners needed to ensure stability of their tailings storage facilities in every regard, as there was a higher probability of dam failure due to water-logging.

Communities living near slime dams should to be vigilant and ensure children and animals do not loiter close to these tailings dams.

“The Ministry has invested a great deal in capacity building of the small scale miners in the past few years,” Deputy Minister Kambamura said.

“Miners who attended the safety awareness campaigns in 2021 are encouraged to put into practices the skills and knowledge acquired from these campaigns for the betterment of their families and the nation at large. We need you all alive to participate in the development of our country.”

Last week an artisanal miner was killed in Chegutu while four others were rescued from a disused mine shaft that collapsed.

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