SHURUGWI: The discovery of gold along Matebekwe river at Msasa in Shurugwi has resulted in some illegal mining syndicates invading the area, causing some serious environmental degradation.
The syndicates are mining on river banks against the dictates of the law which requires a two hundred metre distance from the river banks for any mining operations to be carried out.
The Environment Management Agents (EMA) however told CommuTalk News that they have since taken steps to protect the environment from these illegal miners.
“We are very saddened by the operations being carried out in the area. We have since given the mining syndicates a level 14 fine. We have also given them a seven-day ultimatum to close the pits.
“Almost seven hectares of land is under threat here. We will not tire in our quest to see everything returning to normal. We are also engaging the services of the police to ensure that they comply with the laws of the country,” said Midlands EMA information and publicity officer, Oswald Ndlovu.
Efforts to get a comment from the mining syndicate bosses were fruitless as the security detail manning the premises professed ignorance on the details and whereabouts of the owners.
Cases of illegal mining activities are rampant in the Midlands province and sometimes turn ugly as illegal miners resort to bloody and fatal fights over the precious metal.