President Emmerson Mnangagwa has read the riot act to miners who are damaging and degrading the environment without following their Environmental Impact Assessments saying they should stop it with immediate effect.
Speaking at the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe Annual Conference in Victoria Falls today, President Mnangagwa said mining companies should green their operations through a sustainable mining sector.
“The importance of sustainable extraction of minerals in a manner that does not negatively impact communities and ecosystems cannot be over emphasised. It is my expectation that mining houses now begin to green their operations through a sustainable mining sector.
“Sometimes as l fly around, l see many places where you have dug up holes, and you are gone, so please don’t invite me to introduce draconian legislation.
“Further, the emerging Environmental Social, and Governance thrust in the mining sector now demands that mining houses create real benefits for the communities in which they are operating,” he said.
He added that mining companies should protect their social licences by working closely with the communities that they operate in which must benefit from the mining activities.
“l know your mission, your thrust, your focus is to make money, and l agree with you. As you make your money, make the people around where you operate happy. If they come to me complaining, between you and them, obviously l will support my people.
“Over and above supporting livelihoods, it is also necessary for you in the sector to increase investment in the protection of the environment while building long-term community resilience.
“In this endeavor, capacity building for the mining sector professionals in Environmental, Social and Governance matters must be given due attention.
“Meanwhile, l exhort the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development and the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) to ensure that mining houses abide to their commitments in their Environmental Impact Assessment. Additionally, the mining sector must strive to be a model employer by rewarding employees at favorable levels. As you grow and develop, employees within the mining sector must not be left behind,” he said.
The Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe’s Annual Mining Conference is being held under the theme ‘Consolidating growth drivers for the mining industry’, recognising the current growth and inherent potential of the mining industry as well as the opportunity that entails for the whole economy to align with the government target Vision 2030.