HARARE, April 7 (The Source) – Gold miner DTZ-OZGEO on Monday lobbied Parliament to lift a ban on alluvial mining, saying it could be forced to dismiss its nearly 500 workers after government banned sections of its operations on environmental concerns.
The miner, a 60/40 joint venture between Econendra of Russia and the Development Trust of Zimbabwe, with operations in Manicaland told a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Environment, Water, Tourism and Hospitality Industry that it may not meet its target of annual gold output of 500kg of gold at its Redwing Mine in Penhalonga after government banned alluvial gold mining along rivers due to environmental concerns.
Last year the company produced 282, 8 kg of gold.
The Environmental Management Agency stopped the company from mining until it has rehabilitated land where it carried out previous operations.
“We are appealing to honourable members of Parliament to look into the issue of the stoppage of our alluvial gold mining operations,” company spokesperson Clara Ngwenya said.
“As a company we have faced challenges which have resulted in adjustment to our Environment Management plan, we are appealing to your committee to consider resuscitation of alluvial gold mining in the country…We endeavor to make our approach towards alluvial mining and environmental management a showcase of international standards.”
She said unlike most alluvial miners, DTZ-OZGEO uses underground water for its wash plant before recycling it.
The stoppage has resulted in the company losing between 20-30 kg of bullion per month, Ngwenya said.
On diamond mining, Ngwenya said: “Our company has diversified its operations and decided to venture into diamonds using its mining expertise…and pilot mining is underway in Chimanimani. DMS plant installation has been completed and improvements are being done.
“On commissioning of plant, production is expected to reach between 40,000-50,000 carats per month.”
The mine has participated in all three diamond auctions held in Antwerp, Belgium and Dubai.
Deputy managing director Fadzanayi Mupaya said the company had submitted a plan to comply with empowerment regulations for approval by government.