The Herald (Harare)

17 August 2012

Zimbabwe: 'Give Small-Scale Miners a Chance'

YOUTH Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has urged the Environmental Management Agency to train small-scale miners on what is required before initiating arrests.

The minister was speaking at an event in Mount Darwin recently.

He was addressing concerns in the area that the agency's activities were negatively affecting the operations of small-scale miners.

"EMA should first train these small-scale miners on the requirements of environmentally sound mining activities before they begin arrests," he said.

"Our people do not know what they are being arrested for. Let's give our people a chance."

Observers believe that small-scale miners are also significant contributors to the country's mineral production, but some mining legislation does not recognise them as such.

Last month, Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu said the Mining Act should be reviewed to legalise gold panning, which would help in its formalisation and resultantly in an increase in gold deliveries.

He also urged EMA to educate gold panners on environmental issues.

EMA is a statutory body established in terms of the Environmental Management Act (Chapter 20:27) of 2002.

It is a parastatal in the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Management and was established to ensure sustainable utilisation and protection of Zimbabwe's environmental goods and services.

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