Gold mine fined $500 000 for flouting environmental laws

24 Jan, 2023 - 15:01 0 Views
Gold mine fined $500 000 for flouting environmental laws

The Chronicle

Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau  

THE Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has fined Jannarch 17 gold mining and milling plant $500 000 for operating a gold mine without an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) licence.

The mine is located in the Kent Estates in Norton, Mashonaland West Province $500 000

EMA’s publicity manager, Ms Amkela Sidange said yesterday that the mine authorities had failed to comply with a number of environmental management laws, which also resulted in pollution and death of 10 cattle in the area.

She said at some point, the  mine’s authorities made efforts to apply for an EIA certificate and they were not granted.

“They were not granted the certificate pending requests for additional information particularly on consultation of surrounding farmers since the mine is located in a farming area,” she said.

Ms Sidange said an Environmental Protection order was then served to stop operations until the mine obtain an Environmental Impact Assessment certificate.

The mine, she said, was also found to be operating without a hazardous substances licence in contravention of Section 10 of Statutory Instrument 268 of 2018.

“In the process the mine failed to exercise due caution in the handling of hazardous substances in contravention to Section 30 (3) (a) of the same Regulation, leading to a discharge of effluent into the environment from the vat-leach tanks,” said Ms Sidange.

“As a result there was an overflow of effluent due to heavy rains received in the area.  The effluent killed a total of 10 cattle belonging to two local farmers. A docket has since been opened with ZRP Norton Rural pending appearance by the miner before the court.”

She said the agency had also ordered the mine to put in place measures to avoid further discharge of effluent from the vat-leach tanks.

Ms Sidange urged other miners to always abide by the law to avoid unnecessary situations.

Ms Sidange said EMA was carrying out inspections countrywide to ensure compliance in the mining sector.

“Project developers should guard against complacency and safeguard safety of the public and integrity of the environment,” she said.

“We note with great concern the level of complacency by established projects that put the safety of the public and integrity of the environment at risk.

“This also follows an incident in which three children suffered severe burns after stepping on hot dust at the cement manufacturing Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) Collen Bawn plant in Matabeleland South.”

She called on the project developers to prioritise public health and the protection of the environment during project implementation.

Ms Sidange said the Agency will keep on monitoring such projects to ensure compliance to laid done procedures. @tupeyo

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