MINES and Mining Development Minister, Winston Chitando, is set to officially commission a Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) project at Vumbachikwe Mine in Gwanda, Matabeleland South Province tomorrow.
The US$2,5 million initiative is expected to ensure sustainable mining operations for the next two decades, management said.
Already Vumbachikwe Mine has poured in significant investment towards the project, which will see the company taking the lead in environmentally friendly mining practices at a time when many companies the world over are being taken to task for environmental pollution in an increasingly climate conscious world.
“As a major player in our endeavour to put all hands on deck and create a US$12 billion gold mining industry for Zimbabwe by the year 2023 as espoused by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the national vision, we ought to also keep an eye on our carbon footprint because we have to bequeath not only a wealthy nation but an environmentally safe nation for future generations,” said Vumbachikwe acting mine manager, Mr None Kananji.
“As a result, our stakeholders invested in this project to ensure that as we heed Government’s call for collective patriotic pursuit of a middle-income nation by the year 2030, we also don’t lose sight of the need to ensure the land from which we benefit is preserved.”
TSFs are one or more dams, which ensure that effluent from mining and extraction processes, which may contain slime and chemicals with potential to contaminate underground water and the environment, are stored safely.
In recent times, the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has been scaling up efforts to make mining companies comply with waste management regulations.
The minister’s imminent visit is, therefore, seen as an endorsement of the proactive move by Vumbachikwe as well as encouragement to similar operations to emulate the step taken by the mine, which is currently implementing a raft of measures to restructure and boost production by plugging production leaks and supporting national vision.