Illegal miners invade Zimbabwe's diamond fields

Source:THE AFRICA REPORT

Zimbabwe's controversial Marange diamond fields has been invaded by illegal artisanal miners, a few days after the government ordered mining companies to leave the area.

The government on Monday ordered all companies in the area to cease operations after it took over the concessions.

According to local newspapers on Wednesday, the illegal miners had invaded the mining areas stealing thousands of litres of fuel, mining equipment worth millions of dollars and vital documents.

The illegal panners are back in full swing and they have started panning

The State controlled The Herald newspaper said a ministerial team had been dispatched to assess the situation in the Marange area.

Mines and Mining Development ministry's permanent secretary Francis Gudyanga said the government wanted to establish what was happening following reports of chaos in the area.

"There have been all sorts of reports coming from that area. We have our officers on the ground and by midday tomorrow we will have the reports," he said.

The mining companies say the takeover was not properly organised, hence the disturbances.

"The illegal panners are back in full swing and they have started panning," The Herald reported. "All the mine security details were removed from the mine. The police and officials from the ministry are inadequate to secure the fields."

Only 15 security guards were deployed to secure an area that was guarded by over 120 security personnel at a time. "This is a mess," an official from one of the affected companies was quoted saying.

"Now there is no value for what we built over six years and now it's being destroyed in a day," he added. "They should have at least allowed us to plan, take care of our personnel first, secure the equipment and property and then allow proper hand-over-take over".

The government has created one firm– the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company – to mine the precious mineral after frustrations that the diamond revenues were not trickling into Treasury.

The companies started operations after the government in 2008 carried out a bloody military clampdown to remove the illegal miners from the recently discovered diamond fields.

There was optimism that the diamond mines would lift Zimbabwe from the economic problems of the last decade is fast fizzling out amid reports the companies have already exhausted the alluvial gemstones.


 

| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 |



Mercury: Slow killer in Uganda's gold mines

  1. Inside one of the dozens of gold camps that dot the foothills and valleys of Mubende in central Uganda, the hustle and bustle is astounding. 'Saigon City" nestled in the valley of Kayonza; Kitumbi …
  2. {read by 38 people}


East Africa leads efforts to cut use of mercury in mining

  1. East Africa is driving a global initiative to phase out the use of mercury in mining, as it is harmful to human health and the environment. Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Burundi have announ…
  2. {read by 53 people}


Tanzania passes laws on renegotiation of mining, gas contracts

  1. Tanzania's parliament passed two laws on Monday allowing the government to force mining and energy companies to renegotiate their contracts, despite pleas from the mining association for more time…
  2. {read by 105 people}


Tanzania's president suspends granting of mining licenses

  1. The Tanzanian president has ordered the mining ministry to suspend the granting of new licenses, a statement from State House said on Tuesday, the latest twist in an ongoing row between the government…
  2. {read by 150 people}


Kenya's economy suffers due to mercury pollution

  1. Mining communities in Kenya lose between Sh174 and Sh342 billion in earning potential every year due to mercury contamination, according to a new study published in The Journal of Environmental Manage…
  2. {read by 120 people}


Hakirasilimali opinion on the Natural Resource Wealth Bills of 2017

  1. At a public hearing today, HakiRasilimali submitted to the parlimentary committees on Energy and Minerals and Constitutional and Legal Affairs its opinion on the following bills tabled in parliament o…
  2. {read by 111 people}



khjg