Monday, 19 April 2021

CHINESE FIRM SNEAKS INTO BUHERA, STARTS MINING OPERATIONS

A Chinese mining company, Bingze Resources Pvt Ltd has allegedly started mining operations in Ward 4 in Buhera without the knowledge of the relevant local authorities. The company will exploit scheelite, a source of tungsten which is used in the manufacturing of light bulb filaments and electronic tubes.

Under the law, a business can only start operating in an area after notifying the local authority for purposes of taxes and the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report but both entities are not informed according to information obtained by The Mirror. The Rural District Councils Act [Chapter 29:13] allows local authorities to charge land development levies on mining location in their locality and mining operations to comply with local by-laws.

Various other Government departments must also be informed in as far as mining activities affect their scope of work. Buhera Rural District Council chairman Ngoni Musakaruka told Chipinge Times that he only heard that there was a Chinese company in Ward 4 and he would soon be driving to the area to find out what is happening.

“I have heard that there is a Chinese mining company in Ward 4 and I’m planning to go to the area to see what is going on there,” said Musakaruka. It is understood that Bingze Resources is already clearing an area in Munzwembiri Village under Chief Nerutanga for the construction of offices.

The company is saying that it got the green light from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development headed by Winston Chitando. Chitando did not respond to questions sent on his phone by the time of going to Press. Buhera District EMA Inspector Shepherd Makombe said he was not aware that there is a Chinese mining company operating in the area. Section 97 of EMA Act states that no mining activities should be done without the EMA approving the EIA report and issue the subsequent certificate.

“I don’t even know that there is a Chinese company which came to operate in that area. I however, will ask our province if they have knowledge about that,” said Makombe. Masvingo Mirror

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