Growing concerns over China’s indiscriminate mining in Zimbabwe

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The communities in the mineral-rich Great Dyke region of Zimbabwe have expressed concern over mining leaving trails of open pits which are now death traps for humans and livestock. …reports Asian Lite News

The indiscriminate mining by Chinese companies in Zimbabwe without proper social and environmental assessments has become a matter of concern as it has led to increasing in environmental and infrastructure degradation in the region, according to a media report.

Notably, China’s engagement with Zimbabwe in the mineral sector is very high and it has secured direct equity interests in copper, coal and manganese reserves, however, indiscriminate mining has become a matter of concern in the country, reported InsideOver.

The communities in the mineral-rich Great Dyke region of Zimbabwe have expressed concern over mining leaving trails of open pits which are now death traps for humans and livestock. Similarly, White ASB Gold Mine, operating along the Dohwe river had reportedly encroached into the Dohwe River catchment. The company, which was using heavy equipment in the region, has resulted in massive environmental destruction.

Further, communities living in the downstream area along the Dohwe river were concerned regarding their health and safety considering the use of mercury in mining activities.

The mining activities by Chinese companies has also caused the displacement of the people. One of the several examples demonstrating this is that of a Chinese Company exploring quarry mining in a village in the Mutoko district of Zimbabwe. The company reportedly asked the villagers to leave their homes to make way for a granite quarry, reported InsideOver.

Similarly, people of Dinde village in Zimbabwe opposed the Chinese coal mining project near a wildlife reserve in the Hwange district for the fear of being displaced and their main source of water being polluted by toxic acids.

Though the Chinese embassy in Zimbabwe alleged that the companies were working for the betterment of the country, mistrust among locals persists.

Contrary to the Zimbabwe government’s new statutory provision for environment management (control of alluvial mining) to prevent overexploitation, a Chinese mining company continued to defy the government ban on alluvial gold mining, following which the locals filed an application in the court. However, the application seeking to bar the company from mining was dismissed on technical grounds.

Chinese companies have been taking advantage of the loopholes in the mining laws of Zimbabwe. According to the observers, Zimbabwe, which aims to have a green economy by 2030 and reduce its carbon emissions by 33 per cent, is unlikely to achieve its goals amid the hazardous mining activities by Chinese companies.

Notably, China now imports USD100 billion worth of base metals from Africa every year and consumes over 25 per cent of the world’s supplies. However, with Africa playing a critical role in the provision of key minerals for the Chinese economy, the increasing resentment in African countries against the Chinese investment in mining activities could be an issue of concern for Beijing, reported InsideOver. (ANI)

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