EMA shuts down illegal stamp mill

By Vumani Mthiyane

The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has slapped a local miner with a ZWL$100 000 fine for illegally operating Highwood 7 stamp mill in Doyana village under Chief Gwebu in Umzingwane district.  

EMA also ordered that the stamp mill must cease operations.

This follows an outcry by villagers who said they were not consulted before the stamp mill was erected and if allowed to operate it could pollute their water sources.  

EMA Matabeleland South provincial manager, Decent Ndlovu confirmed the development adding that operations can only resume after the necessary procedures have been undertaken.  

“For operating illegally, we issued them with a ZWL$100 000 and ordered them to stop operating on the site with immediate effect and relocate the stamp mill to another site. They must undergo an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) which will guide its final relocation,” said Ndlovu adding that the ticket was issued to the stamp mill manager by the name T. Gumbi.

Stamp mills are popular among gold miners but are deemed to be a threat to the environment as they promote the use of mercury.

Mercury is a dangerous metal chemical with long term effects on the health of human beings and all other species.

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