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Artisanal miners invade villages

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Artisanal miners invade villages


UMZINGWANE villagers have accused artisanal miners of invading their villages, exposing the community to serious health risks.
Mzinyathini ward 3 village development co-ordinator, David Mpofu told Southern Eye that villagers were concerned over the increasing number of artisanal miners pegging claims in the area, with some coming from places as far as Masvingo.

“We have people who come into our community and claim they have registered their mines near villages. We know that when such an initiative happens, one has to come through the village leaders to get their approval,” Mpofu said.
“What worries us is that a mine has been pegged at eSikhoveni near Bambanani within other village settlements. The owner has set milling stamps and there are rumours that he inherited the mine from his father. Miners should consider the negative effects that mining has on locals, especially if it is done near their settlements.”

Mpofu said whenever miners get mining claims, villagers should be notified to avoid conflicts because mining activities can endanger their lives through blasting activities, pollution, which also affect farming and grazing land.
Matabeleland South acting mining director, Khumbulani Mlangeni said he was not aware of the issue.
“My office has not received any formal complaints about mines pegged at the village settlements,”Mlangeni said.

In December last year, Bulawayo’s Pumula residents expressed concern over a Chinese firm, Haulin Quary which was extracting quarry by blasting rocks in their neighbourhood.  The activities resulted in their houses developing cracks. Newsday.

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