High court judge Justice Charewa, yesterday granted an order compelling Zibusiso Sibanda’s Imani Mine to stop all mining activities without an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) certificate.
The order comes after Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) filed a court application on behalf of Gwanda residents Sithini Ndlovu and Rhodine Sibanda.
ZELA says the mine’s continued operation without an EIA Certificate is potentially detrimental to the environment and the surrounding community members.
Statutory Instrument 7 of 2007 (Environmental Impact Assessment and Ecosystems Protection) Regulations compels mining projects to undergo an EIA process prior to implementation.
Imani mine was also advised not to use any hazardous substances without a licence from EMA and to fence off its mine shafts.
Cyanide is one of the hazardous substances being used by the gold mine in its operations and a licence is required for the use of the substance.
“Community members noted that the miner was doing this with a general disregard to the community’s environmental integrity and health as cyanide can poison water supplies, affect farming land and lead to the death of animals and humans if ingested,” ZELA says.
“The first respondent (Zibusiso Sibanda) has not fenced off these mining shafts despite having a legal obligation to secure the mining site to avoid endangering the community and its property.”
ZELA says welcomed the High court order for Imani mine to stop operations in Gwanda.
“The environmental degradation and pollution caused by the first Respondent’s mining activities coupled with storage and use of hazardous substance is a violation of Environmental rights as provided in Section 4 of the Environmental Management Act as read with section 73 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe,” the organisation says.