Youths living in Chiadzwa have called on the government to cancel special mining grants on alluvial diamonds and instead reserve them for local communities.
By Donald Nyarota
Speaking under the banner of Amalgamated Chiadzwa Development Communities Trust (ACDCT), the youths said the government should halt new mining developments of alluvial diamonds.
Chairman of ACDCT Marange chapter Jey Kasakara said the return of Anjin Investments to mine alluvial was an indictment of the government for renegading on its pledge to reserve alluvial diamonds for artisanal miner under a new diamond policy.
Kasakara said Anjin should not continue operations without following environmental rehabilitation due diligence as their previous operations in the ares left the land in a sorry state.
Kasakara said despite the recent official announcement of Anjin’s return by Minister of Mines Winston Chitando, the miner has been operating without a valid Environmental Impact Assessment on a Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company claim.
Kasakara said they have engaged Anjin and EMA officials over the issues of unregulated operations by the company in a ZCDC concession previously held by DMC before consolidation of companies.
“Anjin was one of the mining companies that started mining operations in our Chiadzwa community in 2009 without an approved Environmental Impact Assessment Plan, and their mining activities destroyed infrastructure such as roads, bridges, schools and degraded farming land.
“Now we are surprised that the Minister of Mines announced that they are coming back to extract diamonds yet they left deep excavations as deep as 15 meters and are a threat to people and livestock.
“Furthermore, there have been unregulated extraction by Anjin, since May they have been taking ore on Portal Q that used to be mined by DMC before consolidation but EMA is claiming not be be aware of this.
“The area that they used to mine still has no tangible rehabilitation, there are at least six open slime dams which pose a threat to both human beings and livestock in the area, yet they have been even taking ore less than 50 meters from Gandauta Secondary School,” said Kasakara.
“ACDT would like to inform the nation that Anjin has not returned to its former mining concession as alluded to by the minister of mines. In fact Anjin has been collecting alluvial diamond ore in reserved mining areas… without conducting due diligence.
“The environmental management agency confirmed ignorance over Anjin’s mining activities in those reserved areas…In view of these developments the ACDCT calls upon government to immediately halt new mining developments in Marange and move with speed to implement reforms.” read part of their statement.
ACDCT claimed that contrary to government’s announcement that Anjin operations will commence by end of July, the company has already been extracting diamonds on a ZCDC claim formerly mined by DMC since May.
Centre for Research and Development representative James Mupfumi said following engagements with EMA and ZDC officials’ concerned youths have decided to confront the regime head on for perpetuating malpractices in Chiadzwa.
ACDCT also blasted officials for awarding mining rights based on a non-binding diamond policy, calling for government to expedite the enactment of the Mines and Minerals bill.