Home » Governance » Miner Wants Parliament’s Intervention in Dispute With Agency

GOLD and diamond mining company, DTZ-OZGEO Limited, has appealed to parliament to help resolve its standoff with government’s Environmental Management Agency amid allegations of environmental degradation caused by the company’s mining operations.

DTZ-OZGEO Limited says the impasse has put over 500 jobs on the line.

Government ordered a freeze in mining activities along rivers last year following reports of siltation and massive land degradation along the Mazowe River in Mashonaland Central last year.

DTZ-OZGEO is jointly owned Development Trust of Zimbabwe and Russian company, Econedra Limited and extracts gold along Mutare River as well as diamonds in some parts of Manicaland.

Fadzanai Mapuya, DTZ-OZGEO deputy managing director told a parliamentary portfolio committee on Environment, Water and Climate chaired by Zanu PF lawmaker Annastacia Ndlovu, that the unpopular directive has left 500 jobs in danger.

Mapuya said the company was losing a lot of money without any production as it was still living up to its employment obligations of paying salaries to employees who were working in closed sites.

He said this also affects government which was longer receiving any royalties from the affected operations.

“We are appealing to you honourable legislators to look into the stoppages that are having aerse effects, which include loss of revenue. There are 500 employees who have been made redundant putting their jobs in jeopardy,” said Mapuya.

Another official Clara Ngwenya, the company’s public relations executive, maintained their operations were above board and environmentally friendly as they always rehabilitated and used water instead cyanide to purify gold.

MDC-T Mutasa Central legislator Trevor Saruwaka asked Ngwenya if it was possible to return diverted rivers to their original routes, to which she responded.

“We do not divert the whole river so it is very possible to do that (restore the diverted rivers). I am appealing to your committee to consider the resumption of alluvial gold mining because its contribution to the economy cannot be underestimated,” Ngwenya said.

Ngwenya said the company had embarked on corporate social responsibility initiatives including the relocation of 15 families affected by their activities as well as rehabilitation and adopting the Robert Mugabe Orphanage at St Augustine’s School which takes care of over 80 orphans.

“We have also helped with rehabilitating local schools as well as providing food for relocated families who have not been able to make use of the current cropping season because of the relocations,” she said.

Source : New Zimbabwe