A Chinese Company, Freestone Mines, and the Mutare City Council have come under fire from residents after started mining for quarry stone on the deforested Dangamvura Mountain without going through an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process.
The mountain is under the local council’s land and is known as stand number 13415 Mutare township.The eastern border city’s authorities have now leased the stand to Freestone Mines to conduct its quarry stone mining.
However, the development has not been received well received by the residents who are questioning the local council officials to disclose information on the mining operations at Dangamvura mountain without their knowledge.
The Mutare City Council Tuesday was forced to release a statement to dismiss the Chinese miner’s operations and confirm it had failed to produce evidence of carrying out the required EIA process before starting operations.
“It has come to the attention of council that the investor had started preparatory work for commencement of operations. Council has since directed Freestone Mines to stop any operations forthwith until they have either met the conditions of the lease agreement or, in the event that they have already met the conditions, until they have presented to council evidence of the same,” reads part of the statement.
“In terms of the lease agreement, Freestone Mines can only commence any activity after meeting certain conditions that are mandatory, i.e obtaining an EIA and consulting the department of engineering and technical services. The process of obtaining an EIA involves stakeholder consultation, which process should be carried out to its logical conclusion.”
This reporter failed to get a comment from the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) Manicaland provincial manager, Kingstone Chitotombe Wednesday as he was not picking up calls on his mobile phone.
United Mutare Residents and Ratepayers Trust (UMRRT) programmes coordinator Edson Dube rapped Mutare City for leasing its stand to the Chinese miner saying, the local authority must rescind its resolution.