President Emmerson Mnangagwa has approved the undertaking of nationwide audits on all mining activities in a bid to enhance widespread compliance issues expected of players in the sector.
The audits will be carried out under the Responsible Mining Initiative launched Thursday on the back of abundant reports on systemic irregularities in the extractives sector.
The head of state said this initiative represents an essential milestone in the journey towards a sustainable US$12 billion mining industry and underscored that the programme is an indispensable undertaking of the second Republic’s quest to exercise good stewardship of the country’s natural resources.
“To enhance greater compliance, a Responsible Mining Audit will be conducted countrywide, covering the entire mining sector value chain including both small scale and large scale mines.
“The Audit, will establish a framework that promotes responsible mining practices, while guaranteeing the well-being of communities and environments where mining activities are taking place.
“The exercise will be conducted by various Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies,” he said.
Mnangagwa said the Audit teams will conduct thorough investigations on activities within the various mining entities, with the objective of highlighting challenges and proffering recommendations towards the overall improvement of the mining sector.
Attention will be accorded to adherence to aspects related to environmental management, immigration tax, labour relations and provisions of the Mines and Minerals Act, among others, in accordance with the laws targeting all mining entities.
“Together, we must embrace methods that minimise harm and maximise benefits for investors and the generality of the people of Zimbabwe.
“In line with this assessments must include potential risks associated with each project, before commencement and also incorporate detailed plans for site reclamation upon closure of the mine,” he said.
Poorly regulated mining activities in Zimbabwe have been blamed for causing extensive environmental destruction, creating artificial hills and open pits as well as promoting massive soil erosion, contaminating water sources and land with dangerous chemicals making them unusable for productive purposes.